Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Web site of the Biology Student Workbench project for bioinformatics education. Since you have come to this site, you are probably aware that bioinformatics has become a critically important area of biology. As a science, biology has always been driven by information, such as extensive field observations and careful experiments on organisms.

In the last couple of decades, a different kind of information has become critically important. Advances in biochemistry, molecular biophysics, and bioengineering have resulted in the ability to gather a veritable flood of data about molecular sequences in a large variety of species, including humans. At the same time, computer scientists have joined with molecular biologists to develop sequence databases and analysis programs, essentially programs that "break" the code of life, to transform sequence data into knowledge that can be applied to all areas of biology and to applications such as medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, and environmental science. In order to break the code, these workers have created a whole new scientific discipline, bioinformatics.

This Web site is dedicated to education about this scientific discipline. Hopefully it will meet important needs for you.

  • If you are an interested citizen, you will find here introductions to the basic concepts and significance of bioinformatics.
  • If you are a biology teacher or faculty, you will find here bioinformatics exercises that you and your students can incorporate into your teaching, exercises that can be done on any computer with an internet connection, at home or in school.
  • If you are a student, you will find here knowledge and training that will enable you to do independent explorations in bioinformatics to enrich your formal class work.
  • If you are an experimental or field biologist, you will find an introduction to the use of bioinformatics tools to augment your experimental or observational work.
  • If you are a senior researcher whose laboratory needs to use bioinformatics, you will find here resources for introducing workers in your laboratory to the use of bioinformatics tools.

Welcome, and please let us know how you find the site, and what we can do to maximize its ability to work for you.

Eric Jakobsson
Founder, Biology Student Workbench Project

Last modified: Monday, 27 August 2007, 09:34 PM