Bioinformatics (Edexcel International A Level Biology)

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Naomi H


Naomi H




  • New DNA technologies such as microarrays and sequencing generate enormous quantities of data, e.g. 
    • Genome sequences
    • Information on gene expression
    • The amino acid sequence and functions of proteins
  • To analyse all of this data scientists use bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science that incorporates biology with computer technology and statistics in order to collect, organise, store, and analyse biological data 
  • Large databases are created containing information such as gene sequences and amino acid sequences of proteins
    • The databases are available online and can perform analysis of the data selected
    • Multiple scientific research groups around the world can contribute to central databases; other groups can then analyse the research and raise queries
  • There are a number of different applications of bioinformatics, e.g.
    • Gene function can be studied and compared across different species
    • The DNA sequences of different species can be compared and evolutionary relationships can be established
    • New drug candidates can be identified quickly by scanning libraries of molecules
    • Drug candidates can be tested safely; the impacts of different molecules on cells can be simulated using computer models
    • Data from microarrays and gene sequencing can be analysed to develop personalised medical treatments for individuals
    • New types of genetic testing can be developed to enable identification of genetic disease
    • Desired genes for the production of recombinant DNA can be identified, as well as determining where it is best to insert new desired genes into the genome of a genetically modified organism
      • This is useful for the development of new gene therapies


Bioinformatics enables the effective storage and analysis of biological data. Note that you do not need to know about BLAST analysis

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Naomi H

Author: Naomi H

Naomi graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Biological Sciences. She has 8 years of classroom experience teaching Key Stage 3 up to A-Level biology, and is currently a tutor and A-Level examiner. Naomi especially enjoys creating resources that enable students to build a solid understanding of subject content, while also connecting their knowledge with biology’s exciting, real-world applications.