SIG/BIO will explore the applications of information science to bioinformatics, which has been defined as “the generation, handling, storage, retrieval and analysis of biological sequence data [genes and proteins].” This is bioinformatics in the research sense used by Cole & Bawden — J.Doc. v52 (1): 51-68, March 1996 — as distinguished from the sense implied by the phrases medical informatics or literature search specialists. We plan to foster collaborations with SIG/MED where appropriate, albeit SIG/BIO will focus on a specialized subset of topics.

This new SIG will provide a forum for interaction between three scientific research and informatics communities: bioinformatics (e.g.: scientists in computational molecular biology), information technology, and information science.

SIG/BIO programs will center on such topics as: identification of areas where information science may impact current genomics and proteomics programs; existing and new methods for the organization, structuring and linking of biochemical, genetic, genomic and proteomic data collections (ontologies and thesauri, perhaps); information science and the emerging problems of systems biology; application of information measures to theoretical problems in genomics; design and implementation of effective gene annotation and retrieval methods; current awareness of the genomic sequencing and proteomics efforts; and discussion of the social and ethical issues involved with the acquisition and use of genomic data.

SIG/BIO interests will span from the theoretical — application of information science principles to the understanding of genomic sequences — to the practical — navigation and mediated use of genomics and proteomics databases in corporate, academic and public contexts.

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