Grand challenges in biodiversity informatics
Sarkar, Indra Neil
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The exponentially growing array of biological data has necessitated the development of a new information management domain, biodiversity informatics. It is one of the newest members of the ‘informatics’ sub-disciplines, which all generally focus on the management of information through the application of advanced technologies. Like other informatics sub-disciplines, biodiversity informatics depends on fundamental computer science and information science principles to facilitate the management of heterogeneous data. Biodiversity informatics distinguishes itself as being the most focused on biological knowledge dating back to the earliest dates of recorded history – while most biological or biomedical informatics studies focus on organizing and studying information spanning less than 100 years, the scope of biodiversity informatics spans the age of the Earth. Biodiversity informatics is also concerned with the widest range of disparate data types – including climatology, epidemiology, geography, and taxonomy. To this end, many informatics principles can readily be incorporated into biodiversity informatics; however, there are equally as many challenges that will require creative solutions. Here, several such challenges are presented in an effort to lay a framework for the types of issues that will define the future of biodiversity informatics and, in turn, the future of biology and biomedicine.
Author Posting. © The Author, 2007. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of KH Biotech Services Pte for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Asia-Pacific Biotech News 11(1): 15-18.