BiR gets to the next level and future prospects of Bioinformatics Review: where do we stand and what now?

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A piece of news highly awaited for just arrived on 8th of March, 2016. It was a moment when it was most required and also most unexpected. The news was that BiR has matured to deserve an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) code. It is great moment for BiR. Team BiR is proud to announce ISSN 2455-6645 (online) accredited to The Bioinformatics Review, an online science e-journal. I would like to re-emphasize our mandate and that is to be a reputed, peer reviewed Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Reporter e-journal for students, teachers and researchers. Eventually, BiR plans to expand its horizons to also publish full length research articles and review papers.

We thank whole heartedly to all our supporters, subscribers, contributors and everyone who has made us believe in who we are and what we can do, and relentlessly reminding us that it will happen. Quintessentially, “Hum Hongey Kaamyaab” (We Will Win) is a perfect depiction of what we went through and what we looked up to in down times. It took more than six months to realize this dream and now that it has happened, we at BiR realize the importance of quality work and of original creations to justify such a high accredition. We, as we have done in past, will strive harder and harder to justify our commitment to society and science without resting. At this juncture, I am reminded of my post-graduation days when I was introduced by my mentor to the field of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. At that point, all I could get was that it is highly interdisciplinary in nature, very much like Biotechnology but it’s actually much more than that. It is the future of biological sciences where in silico analyses of the data will drive and guide the wet lab experimentation part of biological sciences making it all the more productive and precise and thus efficient. That said, it strikes to me to introduce the basics of this subject to our school going, computer savy, net friendly generation who apparently is more fascinated by technology. To catch them young and train their minds for what they want to do in life would not be a bad idea, and that goes very well for Indian system of education in particular because there is a discord between students opting for medical/biological sciences and ones opting for Non-medical or Non-biological sciences. Bioinformatics, in particular, suffers from this discord as it is an amalgamation of biology with Computers and to a e large extent mathematics. I have seen many of my graduate students getting stuck in Bioinformatics mainly because they streamlined themselves at a very early stage and completely ignored even the basics of higher mathematics at secondary level. This is a major hurdle for taking up Bioinformatics as a career option. It is not that it is too late but the long gap after school leaving haunts them and most don’t dare to fill the gap. This goes equally well for students of Computer sciences and Maths who are good programmers and understand machine language but are deprived of even basics of biology. This discord, in my opinion has been a major cause of bioinformatics lagging as a popular subject in India and can only be resolved by careful informed decision to be made during selection of subjects at Senior secondary level so that there is no looking back later and secondly, by calling for reforms in education system. I am certain that the former resolution can be taken without any further delay while second option is a long term exercise and will takes its own course.

I would appreciate further discussion and feedback on this from our readers. Looking forward to continuous support…

Thanking all the readers and contributors once again…

Prashant Pant
Editor-in -Chief
Bioinformatics Review
9th March 2016

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Dr. Pant is a researcher with keen interest in software driven analysis of DNA/Protein sequence data for taxonomic, phylogenetic and other homology based studies. Currently he is involved in understanding Microbial diversity using Next generation sequencing approaches and Analysis of sequence and metagenomic datasets using computational biology approaches. He is presently engaged with undergraduate teaching as an Assistant Professor in University of Delhi

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