A question easy to ask what is it and difficult one to answer in short. Efforts are being made to understand life and sustenance at various levels which include visible physical level to invisible molecular level. At the molecular level, Cells are the fundamental units for any life on this earth and their role is to eat, replicate and die. Every cell comes from another cell that lived before it. Constituents of cell are Water, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Nucleic acids, Proteins and few minerals in the ionic form. Of the above, Nucleic Acids (NA) form the role of principal information molecules. All the internal acts of a cell are directed by these NAs and obediently performed by the proteins. NAs are further classified into deoxyribo (DNA) and ribo (RNA) based on their chemical modifications. Discovery of DNA as the informational molecules by Watson and Crick in 1953 proved that molecular level understanding is more advantageous. This also proved the characteristics (traits) are passed on among generations through certain segments of DNA known as genes. More importantly, hereditary information is imparted in a form that is truly of digital precision! From then sequencing and analyzing DNA has become a routine task in genetics in the name of Genomics.
A major milestone in genomics has been the completion of high accuracy sequencing of the human genome. While this Human Genome Project (HGP) is the largest collaborative biological project till now, it took thirteen plus years for twenty universities across the globe to complete it. Intellectual use of sequence data from human and other organisms, along with technological innovations fostered by HGP, has contributed to significant advances in our understanding of diseases that have genetic basis and thereby changing the healthcare delivery. The project bringing forth significant applications both for academic and commercial perspectives, paved the way for two further subdivisions as dry and wet science in modern biology. Bioinformatics, a dry science is not dry as such but an interdisciplinary field which requires synergistic efforts from the experts of computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to handle, store, analyze and interpret biological data.
Of the above, Agriculture, Biofuels, cosmetics, diagnostics, healthcare and medical devices are those industries which find immense hopes for bioinformatics supporting and leveraging their efforts. With the advent of Next Generation Sequencing techniques (NGS), cost of gene sequencing has been coming down drastically every year with huge amount of genetic data generated every day. The potential economic impact of NGS in health care, agriculture, and biofuels could be $700 billion to $1.6 trillion a year by 2025 as estimated by McKinsey global institute.
Role of AFL
AFL, delivering digital transformation and IT technology services is an ideal strategy and technology partner for the bioinformatics service industry. With the capability of providing solutions in Big Data analytics, Cloud computing, Application development, testing and automation, AFL is capable of providing services like:
- Big data solution for handling the large amount of unstructured data arising out of sequence.
- Developing pipelines for handling heterogeneous data from biotech, clinical genetic and pharmaceutical data.
- Leverage and support in implementing end-to-end data integration proposals for biotech, clinical, genetic and pharma data.
- Data munging, cleansing, curation and integration in custom required formats.
- Custom data analysis algorithms and logics.
- Support in development, maintenance, automation and testing of software in predictive modeling of biological processes and drugs for the pharma clients.
- Support and leverage scientific data analysis in Life Sciences and Biopharma including Sequence Bioinformatics, Structural Bioinformatics, Cheminformatics, Bio-molecular Modeling and Dynamics
- Custom scientific algorithm development, porting, testing and automation in bioinformatics