Bioinformatics - A Technology Assessment of Recent Developments in Bioinformatics and Related Areas of Research and Development Including Highthroughput Screening and Combinatorial Chemistry

01-05-1999

In recent years, new gene science has become probably the most information and automation intensive activity in modern research and clinical innovation. In particular, gene sequence and functional analysis is now fundamentally dependent upon the global production, circulation and consumption of huge amounts of data. The exchanges between computational and biological sciences are both far reaching and reciprocal. On the one hand, masses of genetic information are being translated from their ‘wet platform’ onto the ‘dry platforms’ of silicon based databases. On the other hand, silicon is now becoming the basis for conducting ‘wet’ biological and chemical research using genechips and labchips. However, the interfaces between life science research, clinical innovation and computational science are fraught with problems for policy makers. For example, with what consequences does genetic data become property; how is data-access controlled and distributed; who will benefit and who will be excluded from potential dividends; how will Europe’s life sciences adapt to the rising access costs to modern biological innovation; how might it be possible to create seamless integration across Europe’s bioinformatic resources; what are the difficulties in bringing biological and computational skills together in innovative combinations; how will the Parliament prepare for new therapeutic and diagnostic innovations; how will quality and safety be maintained? All of these questions are addressed in this report beginning with a brief introduction to new developments in bioinformatics and the key actors involved. Section Two discusses some of the main technical, organisational and market barriers which inhibit actors from fully exploiting opportunities in the area. Section Three offers an assessment of the likely impact of bioinformatic-related technologies on healthcare. These impacts are then discussed in the context of nonclinical sectors like financial and forensic s

In recent years, new gene science has become probably the most information and automation intensive activity in modern research and clinical innovation. In particular, gene sequence and functional analysis is now fundamentally dependent upon the global production, circulation and consumption of huge amounts of data. The exchanges between computational and biological sciences are both far reaching and reciprocal. On the one hand, masses of genetic information are being translated from their ‘wet platform’ onto the ‘dry platforms’ of silicon based databases. On the other hand, silicon is now becoming the basis for conducting ‘wet’ biological and chemical research using genechips and labchips. However, the interfaces between life science research, clinical innovation and computational science are fraught with problems for policy makers. For example, with what consequences does genetic data become property; how is data-access controlled and distributed; who will benefit and who will be excluded from potential dividends; how will Europe’s life sciences adapt to the rising access costs to modern biological innovation; how might it be possible to create seamless integration across Europe’s bioinformatic resources; what are the difficulties in bringing biological and computational skills together in innovative combinations; how will the Parliament prepare for new therapeutic and diagnostic innovations; how will quality and safety be maintained? All of these questions are addressed in this report beginning with a brief introduction to new developments in bioinformatics and the key actors involved. Section Two discusses some of the main technical, organisational and market barriers which inhibit actors from fully exploiting opportunities in the area. Section Three offers an assessment of the likely impact of bioinformatic-related technologies on healthcare. These impacts are then discussed in the context of nonclinical sectors like financial and forensic s

Externe Autor

Nik Brown, Annemiek Nelis, Brian Rappert and Andrew Webster (Science and Technology Studies Unit - SATSU, Anglia, Polytechnic University, Cambridge, United Kingdom) ; J. B. van Ommen (Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands)