Bioinformatics, biotechnology and biomedical engineering – don’t all these sound similar? There are so many career choices available these days; with just little change in the name that one thinks they are the same. But, no, each of these areas of expertise is different from each other. This article aims at clearing out the misconception underlined therein and gives a brief introduction to each of the areas.
Bioinformatics: This is also known as computational biology, wherein information technology is used to analyze and manage biological data. We have seen that computers help us in every walk of life. In this area of work, computers are used to collect, store, analyze and merge biological data. With computers helping us explore, we can unlock a wealth of information about various biological beings.
The career prospects for this area of study are tremendously increasing by the day, with many researches being conducted in various fields of work to improve the present standard and quality. Sequence assembly, sequence analysis, informatics developer, database design and maintenance are some of the areas where students can build their career in bioinformatics.
Biotechnology – biotechnology on the other hand is a research oriented science combining science and technology. Genetics, microbiology, immunology, virology and biochemistry form part of this science. One can find that it is in this area of study that vaccines, medicines, diagnostics etc are developed.
Biomedical engineering – this is an emerging discipline that opens doors to research and development. The definition for biomedical engineering is given as – ‘the study and application of engineering techniques to the understanding of biological systems and to the development of therapeutic technologies and devices’. Going by the very definition, one can understand that it is the field which combines technology and biology to come up with some better ways to understand the same. CT-scan is an example of how biomedical engineering can be used.
With three different streams of study aiming at improving our very existence, they should never be confused to be the same. All the three may be inter-related but not the same.