Bioinformatics vs. Computational Biology: A Comparison (2022)

(Video) 2020 STAT115 Lect1.3 Bioinfo vs Comp Bio

Bioinformatics refers to the study of large sets of biodata, biological statistics, and results of scientific studies. Some examples of bioinformatics studies include the analysis and integration of genetic and genomic data, cheminformatic comparisons of proteins to help improve personalized medicine, and the prediction of protein function from data sequence and structural information.

Computational biology, by contrast, is concerned with solutions to issues that have been raised by studies in bioinformatics. Both disciplines are generally considered facets of the rapidly-expanding fields of data science and biotechnology. Computational biology is useful in scientific research, including the examination of how proteins interact with each other through the simulation of protein folding, motion, and interaction.

Bioinformatics and computational biology are two fields that have arisen from the growth of bioenterprise around the globe. BIO, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, predicts that advancements in biotechnology, bioinformatics, and computational biology will significantly assist the world as it faces the 21st century’s impending resource challenges.

The respective fields of bioinformatics and computational biology are often integrated with laboratories, research centers, or colleges. As both fields rely on the availability and accuracy of datasets, they usually help one another reach their respective project goals. While computational biology emphasizes the development of theoretical methods, computational simulations, and mathematical modeling, bioinformatics emphasizes informatics and statistics.

Though the two fields are interrelated, bioinformatics and computational biology differ in the kinds of needs they address. While both fields pursue greater utilization of our collective biological understanding, bioinformatics tends to concern itself with the gathering and collation of biodata, and computational biology with the practical application of this biodata.

Check out the differences between the related fields of bioinformatics and computational biology for reference and clarification.

(Video) What is Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

Similarities, Differences, and Overlap: Bioinformatics vs. Computational Biology

BioinformaticsComputational Biology
Definition

Bioinformatics is the process by which biological problems posed by the assessment or study of biodata are interpreted and analyzed. Bioinformatics professionals develop algorithms, programs, code, and analytic models to record and store data related to biology. This includes the study of the human genome, biochemical proteins, pharmacological ingredients, metabolic pathway readings, and much more. These sets of data form the basis of what is often seen as the next step in the process: computational biology.

Computational Biology is concerned with solutions to issues that have been raised by studies in bioinformatics. In many cases, the phrases “bioinformatics” and “computational biology” are used interchangeably, particularly in job descriptions or position titles. This is due, in part, to the fact that the two fields have been around for only a few short decades.Computational biology has been used to build highly-detailed models of the human brain, map the human genome, and assist in modeling biological systems. Computational biology involves researching, developing, and implementing algorithms or tools that address biological questions, concerns, or challenges that have been raised by bioinformatic analyses.

ApplicationsBioinformatics is a rich specialization in which the myriad uses of data are explored, from pharmacology to antibiotics, from green technologies to climate change studies. These, and many more, are included in a running list of bioinformatics applications in the fields of:
  • Microbial genome applications
  • Molecular medicine
  • Personalized medicine
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Preventative medicine
  • Drug development
  • Gene therapy
  • Evolutionary studies
  • Biotechnology
  • Waste cleanup
  • Crop improvement
  • Insect resistance
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Zoology
  • Animal behavioral studies
  • Climate change studies
  • Forensic analysis
  • Machine learning
  • Bio-weapon creation
  • Improvement of nutritional quality
  • Development of drought-resistant varieties
  • Veterinary science
Computational Biology is used, for example, to aid in a virologist’s work on selecting the proper vaccination strain for influenza. Whether analyzing molecular medicine compounds or calculating metabolic pathway proteomics, computational biology allows professionals to build the toolkit to fit the task. Other applications include, but are not limited to:
  • Stochastic models
  • Systems biology
  • Machine learning
  • Molecular medicine
  • Preventative medicine
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Metabolic pathway studies
  • Cellular biology
  • Data mining
  • Biochemical studies
  • Radiotherapy
  • Deep learning
  • Veterinary studies
  • Neural networks
  • Oncology
  • Animal physiology
  • Text mining
  • Advanced mathematics
  • Genomic trends
  • Genetic analysis
Careers

Most careers available in bioinformatics can be found in computer information science, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology, computational biology, proteomics, and medical informatics. They often develop algorithms, build databases, and present data, studies, and research to other bioinformatics professionals. The databases they build are typically used for processing and analyzing things like genomic information or genetic trends.

The majority of the computational biology careers one might find on BioSpace, Science Careers, or Indeed involve data mining, data extraction, content curation, research, data analytics, bioinformatics theory, data management, programming, technical writing and documentation, and project management.

SubfieldsThe field of bioinformatics encompasses a wide array of sub-disciplines that are underpinned by a scientific ethic grounded in the biological sciences. Closely related to computational biology, bioinformatics continues to grow in scope and utility. Examples of a few of the many fields informed by the work of bioinformatics include:
  • Computational biology: the application of solutions to problems in bioinformatics
  • Genetics: the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics
  • Genomics: the branch of molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes
  • Proteomics: the study of proteins and their functions
  • Metagenomics: the study of genetic matter from environmental sources and samples
  • Transcriptomics: the study of the complete RNA transcriptome
  • Phylogenetics: the study of the relationships in groups of animals and humans
  • Metabolomics: the study of the biochemistry of metabolism and metabolites
  • Systems biology: the mathematical modeling and analysis of large sets of biodata
  • Structural analysis: an assessment that determines the effects of physical loads on physical structures
  • Molecular modeling: the modeling of molecular structures by way of computational chemistry
  • Pathway analysis: a software assessment that identifies related proteins in metabolic pathways
As an emerging discipline, computational biology is gaining momentum in the medical and tech worlds as an excellent means of quantifying huge sets of data. Computational biology is an area in which there is a great deal of overlap with bioinformatics. In fact, the two fields have developed in tandem with one another and often find use in systems where data and data models of biological data are necessary. Some other occupational offshoots include:
  • Bioinformatics: the process by which biological problems are interpreted and analyzed
  • Computational bioengineering: various data-based methods used to study biological or ecological systems
  • Computational biomechanics: various data-based methods used to study the effect of forces on biological structures
  • Computational bioimaging: the visualization of real-time biological processes
  • Mathematical biology: the study of biological systems using mathematical models
  • Theoretical biology: related to the emerging field of mathematical biology
Tools & Software
Featured Academic Programs

Northeastern University, online MSc: Northeastern University offers an online master’s in bioinformatics degree that focuses on subjects such as bioinformatics programming, bioinformatics computational methods, and ethics in biological research. The program also offers a graduate certificate in data science.

(Video) What are Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

Rochester Institute of Technology, on-campus MSc: The Rochester Institute of Technology offers an on-campus master’s in bioinformatics degree that focuses on ethics in bioinformatics, bioinformatics algorithms, database management for the sciences, computational statistics, and data science methods, and molecular modeling and proteomics.

Rochester Institute of Technology, on-campus BSc: The school also offers an innovative bachelor of science program in bioinformatics and computational biology. This program includes courses such as bioinformatics programming, ethical issues in biology and medicine, fundamental bioinformatics analysis, biochemistry, introduction to database and data modeling, and introduction to bioinformatics.

Coursera, bioinformatics courses: This comprehensive collection of courses from leading universities in bioinformatics offers introductory, intermediate, and advanced-level studies.

Additionally, there are several graduate certificates available, including those from:

Columbia University in the City of New York, online MSc: Columbia University offers an online computer science master’s degree in computational biology that focuses on subjects such as computational genomics, database systems, advanced machine learning, deep learning for computer vision, and natural language processing, and statistical modeling and data analysis.

The University of Idaho, on-campus MSc: The University of Idaho offers an on-campus master’s degree in computational biology that focuses on subjects such as laboratory experience in the biological sciences, laboratory experience in the computational sciences, laboratory experience in mathematics or statistics, evolutionary biology for non-life scientists, and computational biology.

Carnegie Mellon University, on-campus BSc: Renowned research university Carnegie Mellon offers an esteemed undergraduate program in computational biology. This program includes courses such as algorithms and advanced data structures, algorithm design and analysis, great ideas in theoretical computer science, principles of imperative computation, cell biology, biochemistry, and modern biology.

Coursera, computational biology courses: As perhaps the industry leader in open education models, Coursera’s comprehensive collection of courses from leading universities in computational biology offers introductory, intermediate, and advanced-level studies.

Additionally, there are several related graduate certificates available, including those from:

The Bottom Line: The Fields of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

As industries poised to forever change the way the world does ethical, responsible, sensible business, bioinformatics and computational biology use the last century of research in biology to reforge the discipline for the needs of the coming century.

Taking cues from the world’s organisms to build a healthier and cleaner future and making use of the staggering number of applications in the modern tech landscape, one can rest assured that as science’s collective knowledge grows (and as the very definition of biology evolves), the usefulness of biotechnologies will become unquestionable.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an uptick in the percentage of bioinformatics and computational biology positions in the wider economy, such as in the occupations of computer and information research scientists, bioinformatics technicians, and biomedical engineers.

(Video) Should you get a PhD in Bioinformatics / Computational Biology / Data Science?

Bioinformatics vs. Computational Biology: A Comparison (2)

Kenneth Parker Writer

Kenneth Parker is a feature writer, poet, and musician living in the Pacific Northwest. His writing on remote work, education, and technology has been published by BustedCubicle.com, MedicalTechnologySchools.com, and other websites. His poetry, short fiction, and album reviews have appeared in Scifaikuest, Nanoism, and No Clean Singing. His background includes time spent as an associate editor, proofreader, private grammar instructor, freelance content editor, medical claims agent, and SEO consultant. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where he studied literature and worked as a composition tutor.

(Video) Bioinformatics vs healthinformatics

FAQs

Which is better computational biology or bioinformatics? ›

Bioinformatics applies principles of information sciences and technologies to make the vast, diverse, and complex life sciences data more understandable and useful. Computational biology uses mathematical and computational approaches to address theoretical and experimental questions in biology.

Are the terms computational biology and bioinformatics same Explain your answer? ›

While computational biology emphasizes the development of theoretical methods, computational simulations, and mathematical modeling, bioinformatics emphasizes informatics and statistics. Though the two fields are interrelated, bioinformatics and computational biology differ in the kinds of needs they address.

How is computational biology related to bioinformatics? ›

Computational biology and bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops and applies computational methods to analyse large collections of biological data, such as genetic sequences, cell populations or protein samples, to make new predictions or discover new biology.

Is computational biology a good career? ›

As compared to pure life science, computational biology has better job prospects and salaries. One can use their life science degree and add some computational biology skills so as to polish their profile and increase their likelihood to get better jobs.

Is computational biology part of bioinformatics? ›

While bioinformatics and computational biology may sound similar, they are distinct disciplines that scientists can use to help manage and understand all this data. Here are some of the main differences between computational biology and bioinformatics and when scientists should turn to each for their analyses.

Does computational biology pay well? ›

The salaries of Computational Biologists in the US range from $41,230 to $162,600 , with a median salary of $72,220 . The middle 57% of Computational Biologists makes between $72,220 and $100,008, with the top 86% making $162,600.

How much money do computational biologists make? ›

The average Computational Biologist salary in the United States is $97,652 as of September 26, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $85,007 and $110,463.

Is bioinformatics similar to computer science? ›

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field bringing together biology, computer science, mathematics, statistics, and information theory to analyze biological data for interpretation and prediction.

Which field of science is most important for bioinformatics? ›

It is an interdisciplinary field, which harnesses computer science, mathematics, physics, and biology (fig ​ 1). Bioinformatics is essential for management of data in modern biology and medicine.

Is bioinformatics easy? ›

Becoming a bioinformatician takes a lot of hard work, but it's definitely worth the effort. Check out our article on some of the ways in which bioinformatics can be used.

Why is computational biology interesting? ›

Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights.

What is the scope of computational biology? ›

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics are concerned with solving biological and biomedical problems using mathematical and computational methods. They are recognized as essential elements in modern biological and biomedical research.

Are computational biologists in demand? ›

Salary and job outlook for computational biologists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a growth rate of 15% for all computer and information research scientists, or about 5,000 new jobs between 2019 and 2029.

Do you need a PhD to be a computational biologist? ›

In government, they may be hired in various health and research institutes to analyze vast quantities of research data. Computational biologists need a Ph. D. Relevant work also includes a bachelor's or master's degree in biology and other appropriate fields.

Do you need a PhD for computational biology? ›

Educational requirements include a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences, or similar field, along with a doctoral degree and three to five years of work experience.

Is computational biology a growing field? ›

The global computational biology market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 19.27% over the forecast period, 2022-2027.

What are the levels of computational biology? ›

Computational Biology
  • Front Matter.
  • 1: Introduction to the Course.
  • 2: Sequence Alignment and Dynamic Programming.
  • 3: Rapid Sequence Alignment and Database Search.
  • 4: Comparative Genomics I- Genome Annotation.
  • 5: Genome Assembly and Whole-Genome Alignment.
  • 6: Bacterial Genomics--Molecular Evolution at the Level of Ecosystems.
3 Jan 2021

Is bioinformatics highly paid? ›

Employees who knows Bioinformatics earn an average of ₹20lakhs, mostly ranging from ₹7lakhs per year to ₹39lakhs per year based on 42 profiles. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹30lakhs per year.

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

Highest Paying Occupations
OCCUPATION2021 MEDIAN PAY
General internal medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Family medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Emergency medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows

How much do bioinformatics scientists make a year? ›

Bioinformatics scientists earn an average yearly salary of $82,530. Wages typically start from $48,260 and go up to $133,830.

Are Bioinformaticians happy? ›

The majority of bioinformatics scientists find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

Is bioinformatics a tech job? ›

What Is A Bioinformatics Technician? Bioinformatics applies information management and computational technology to the analysis, manipulation and storage of biological data. Technicians in this field work with scientists in fields including medical informatics, biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

Who is a bioinformatics scientist? ›

Bioinformatics scientists use technology and computer science to study and find solutions in the area of biology. They use databases of genetic information to find ways to identify and treat human, animal and plant diseases and other issues.

Can a computer science student become a Bioinformatician? ›

Bioinformaticians need a solid background in computer science but also a good understanding of biology. Since bioinformaticians work closely with biologists, they need the ability to communicate complex topics in an understandable way and keep up-to-date with new developments in biology.

Can a computer science student do bioinformatics? ›

Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science degree in bioinformatics or a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a minor in biology, or a Bachelor of Science degree in biology (or Master of Science in a related field, e.g. agronomy) and a minor in computer science/informatics/data sciences.

Which is better computer science or computer science with specialization? ›

See, There is nothing like one is good and one is bad between CSE or CSE with specialization . In fact, if you want one line answer of this question then I will say that the better one CSE is that which have got your interest and attention.

What skills should a bioinformatician have? ›

To successfully perform the duties of a bioinformatician, one must possess an array of bioinformatics skills: ability to manage, interpret, and analyze large data sets; broad knowledge of bioinformatics analysis methodologies; familiarity with functional genetic and genomic data; and expertise in common bioinformatics ...

Which country is best for bioinformatics jobs? ›

3 Results
Countryh-indexrank h-index
United States4271
United Kingdom2732
Germany2333
France1874
18 more rows

Can bioinformatics work as data scientist? ›

All in all, the skills required by these two fields are similar, and bioinformaticians with the skill set I described above can perform in data science roles in industry, provided that they can adjust their mindsets to industry.

Does bioinformatics have a future? ›

Bioinformatics is super essential for the analysis of Data in modern biology and medicine. And this global collaboration is going to grow by leaps and bounds in the next decade definitely. So learning Bioinformatics at this point will definitely put you on the international collaboration roadmap as well.

Is maths required for bioinformatics? ›

Every job in bioinformatics will require at least a moderate understanding of math, especially linear algebra, statistics, and data structures. Bioinformatics is math-heavy because experts build, optimize, or use software seeking to understand and organize biological information.

Does bioinformatics require coding? ›

The very foundation of bioinformatics is dependent on your ability to code. More importantly, it is dependent on your ability to code effectively and learn the patterns of coding that programmers have been utilizing for generations to build effective solutions.

What is computational biology examples? ›

Examples include graph algorithms for genome mapping (the process of locating fragments of DNA on chromosomes) and for certain types of DNA and peptide sequencing methods, clustering algorithms for gene expression analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction, and pattern matching for various sequence search problems.

Why is bioinformatics regarded as the brain of biotechnology? ›

Bioinformatics has got major impacts on biotechnology and its applications. The vast amount of data generated by human genome project or by other genome sequencing project would be unmanageable without the bioinformatics technique. Without bioinformatics handling, interpretation of these data would be unthinkable.

What does a bioinformatics analyst do? ›

As a bioinformatics analyst, you will work with large databases of data such as genomics or studying different cells and molecules. You will research the pathology of diseases and help with the development of experiments and algorithms to find cures.

What can you do with a masters in computational biology? ›

Career paths of M.S. in Computational Biology graduates have led to research, teaching, and administrative positions at renowned academic institutions. Graduates are also leaders in industry and government. Our graduates entering industry make, on average, over $100,000 in their first year post-MSCB.

How long is a PhD in computational biology? ›

The time to degree (normative time) of the Computational Biology PhD is five years. The first year of the program emphasizes gaining competency in computational biology, the biological sciences, and the computational sciences (broadly construed).

How computational biology is useful in the pharmaceutical industries? ›

Computational biology and bioinformatics have the potential not only to speed up the drug discovery process, thus reducing the costs, but also to change the way drugs are designed.

How much money do computational biologists make? ›

The average Computational Biologist salary in the United States is $97,652 as of September 26, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $85,007 and $110,463.

Is bioinformatics similar to computer science? ›

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field bringing together biology, computer science, mathematics, statistics, and information theory to analyze biological data for interpretation and prediction.

What is the scope of computational biology? ›

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics are concerned with solving biological and biomedical problems using mathematical and computational methods. They are recognized as essential elements in modern biological and biomedical research.

Which field of science is most important for bioinformatics? ›

It is an interdisciplinary field, which harnesses computer science, mathematics, physics, and biology (fig ​ 1). Bioinformatics is essential for management of data in modern biology and medicine.

Is bioinformatics highly paid? ›

Employees who knows Bioinformatics earn an average of ₹20lakhs, mostly ranging from ₹7lakhs per year to ₹39lakhs per year based on 42 profiles. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹30lakhs per year.

Are Bioinformaticians happy? ›

The majority of bioinformatics scientists find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

Is bioinformatics a tech job? ›

What Is A Bioinformatics Technician? Bioinformatics applies information management and computational technology to the analysis, manipulation and storage of biological data. Technicians in this field work with scientists in fields including medical informatics, biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

Can a computer science student become a Bioinformatician? ›

Bioinformaticians need a solid background in computer science but also a good understanding of biology. Since bioinformaticians work closely with biologists, they need the ability to communicate complex topics in an understandable way and keep up-to-date with new developments in biology.

Can a computer science student do bioinformatics? ›

Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science degree in bioinformatics or a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a minor in biology, or a Bachelor of Science degree in biology (or Master of Science in a related field, e.g. agronomy) and a minor in computer science/informatics/data sciences.

Why is computational biology interesting? ›

Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights.

Are computational biologists in demand? ›

Salary and job outlook for computational biologists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a growth rate of 15% for all computer and information research scientists, or about 5,000 new jobs between 2019 and 2029.

Is computational biology a growing field? ›

The global computational biology market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 19.27% over the forecast period, 2022-2027.

Do you need a PhD for computational biology? ›

Educational requirements include a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences, or similar field, along with a doctoral degree and three to five years of work experience.

What skills should a bioinformatician have? ›

To successfully perform the duties of a bioinformatician, one must possess an array of bioinformatics skills: ability to manage, interpret, and analyze large data sets; broad knowledge of bioinformatics analysis methodologies; familiarity with functional genetic and genomic data; and expertise in common bioinformatics ...

Which country is best for bioinformatics jobs? ›

3 Results
Countryh-indexrank h-index
United States4271
United Kingdom2732
Germany2333
France1874
18 more rows

Can bioinformatics work as data scientist? ›

All in all, the skills required by these two fields are similar, and bioinformaticians with the skill set I described above can perform in data science roles in industry, provided that they can adjust their mindsets to industry.

Videos

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