The portal has been deactivated. Please contact your portal admin.

Question Video: Recalling the Application of Bioinformatics Biology

Fill in the blank: Bioinformatics is a field of study that combines biology and _ to facilitate the analysis of large and complex sets of biological data such as genomes.

02:39

Video Transcript

Fill in the blank. Bioinformatics is a field of study that combines biology and blank to facilitate the analysis of large and complex sets of biological data, such as genomes. (A) Medicine, (B) telecommunications, (C) media science, (D) computer science, or (E) electrophysiology.

This question asks us about bioinformatics. We are told that it combines the study of biology and another topic, which we need to identify.

You may have heard of bioinformatics in relation to processes such as DNA sequencing. The smallest known genome, found in a symbiotic bacteria, contains around 160,000 base pairs. Sequencing even this small of a genome requires a lot of time and power. But the data sets become exponentially larger for more advanced organisms. For example, the human genome has more than three billion base pairs.

The only possible way to produce, store, and analyze all of these data is with the aid of powerful computers, and that is exactly what bioinformatics does. For example, computers allow scientists to compare the DNA of individuals belonging to the same species. This allows them to detect minor differences in the base pair sequences that may contribute to genetic disorders. Computers can also compare DNA sequences of different species to figure out the evolutionary relationships between them.

Imagine if you wanted to sequence the genomes of a human, a gorilla, and a chimpanzee. All of these are primates, but how closely related are they? Only with an understanding of biology and the help of a computer could you accurately analyze and compare the DNA sequences of the primates. This would allow you to conclude that humans and chimpanzees have more genetic similarity than humans and gorillas. This is because humans and chimpanzees have a more recent common ancestor than do humans and gorillas.

Now that we’ve discussed bioinformatics and a couple of its many applications, let’s take a look at our answer choices. We’ve seen that bioinformatics uses computers to aid in the production, organization, and analysis of genetic-based data sets. So the correct term to fill in the blank is found in option (D). And the completed sentence is “Bioinformatics is a field of study that combines biology and computer science to facilitate the analysis of large and complex sets of biological data, such as genomes.”

Nagwa uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.