Wednesday, 22 January 2014

What is a bioinformatician

By Anthony Fejes originally posted in

I’ve been participating in an interesting conversation on linkedin, which has re-opened the age old question of what is a bioinformatician, which was inspired by a conversation on twitter, that was later blogged.  Hopefully I’ve gotten that chain down correctly.

In any case, it appears that there are two competing schools of thought.  One is that bioinformatician is a distinct entity, and the other is that it’s a vague term that embraces anyone and anything that has to do with either biology or computer science.  Frankly, I feel the second definition is a waste of a perfectly good word, despite being a commonly accepted method.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Some of the most cited manuscripts in Proteomics and Computational Proteomics (2013)

Some of the most cited manuscripts in 2013 in the field of Proteomics and Computational Proteomics (no order):

     The PRoteomics IDEntifications (PRIDE, database 
     at the European Bioinformatics Institute is one of the most prominent data 
     repositories of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics data. Here, we 
     summarize recent developments in the PRIDE database and related tools. 
     First, we provide up-to-date statistics in data content, splitting the figures by 
     groups of organisms and species, including peptide and protein 
     identifications, and post-translational modifications. We then describe the 
     tools that are part of the PRIDE submission pipeline, especially the recently 
     developed PRIDE Converter 2 (new submission tool) and PRIDE Inspector 
     (visualization and analysis tool). We also give an update about the integration 
     of PRIDE with other MS proteomics resources in the context of the 
     ProteomeXchange consortium. Finally, we briefly review the quality control 
     efforts that are ongoing at present and outline our future plans.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Are you a Computational Biologist or Bioinformaticist or Bioinformatician?

A recent discussion was provoked by on twitter January 8 regarding what is the choice term for referring to those researchers working on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology fields.
This debate is older than people may think and it looks like an insignificant topic, but when you are writing your CV or your internet profile, or you’re looking for a new job, you will need a professional title, and that is really important. If you also look the volume of discussion and opinions about this topic on internet you will realize that the community have different points of view. I've use some of my spare time to read in detail different opinions about it, and also collect some those opinions and articles. Let’s see what common terms are used nowadays for these researchers:

Bioinformaticist, Bioinformatician, Computational Biologist, Digital biologist, bioinformatics analyst

My Formula as a Bioinformatician

Every day, I enjoy reading about bioinformatics in blogs, linkedin, and twitter; away from my daily reading of manuscripts journals. I strongly think that the future of publications/science will be closer & closer to the open access style and this emergent way to publish your ideas faster/brief in your own space. Some of my old co-workers don't understand this way to get in touch with science using informal environments rather than arbitrary/supervised spaces; I just said to them, we make the future, not the past. Reading the popular post “A guide for the lonely bioinformatician”, I was thinking about the last three years and how I have been built my own formula to survive as a lonely bioinformatician in a small country, with a lousy internet connection and without a bioinformatics environment.        

All the bioinformaticians that I met during these three years can be categorized in three major groups considering their original background:

1)    MDs, Biologist, Biochemist, Chemist
2)    Physicist, Mathematicians, Computer Scientist, Software Engineers, Software
3)    Philosophers, *

As an embryonic and growing field the diversity is huge, then it is quite complex to express all the data behavior in one model or a formula. Here I will summarize some of the variables of my formula, extremely correlated with the original post suggestions:

News: The first version of PRIDE Inspector 2.0 is now available

PRIDE Inspector 2.0 is an integrated desktop application for MS Proteomics data analysis and visualization. 
- The current version support PRIDE XML, mzIdentML, as well as providing direct access to PRIDE public database. 
- The new version also support of Mass Spectra Formats such as mzxml, mgf, pkl, ms2, dta.
- Some of the new features are: Fragmentation Visualization.
- Protein and Peptide Group Visualization.
- Visualization of Peptide and Protein Properties (Scores, pI, etc)

- New Chart Options.
- Others ...