In this time of pandemic since the covid19 outbreak created a great threat to human health, the need for e-services has increased. This can be observed almost in every field including education, jobs, academics, and research. Online services are the safest mode of networking these days. When we talk about research, it is not possible to work online completely.
The only part of the research that experimental biologists could do online or in silico is the literature survey. However, computational biologists/ bioinformaticians have an advantage at this time. Experimental biology calls for a lot of equipment and researchers to operate them. That was quite impossible during the initial period of the covid19 pandemic. On the other side, bioinformaticians need a workstation, good internet connectivity, and a thoughtful mind. All these things are available even in the time of the pandemic. It is an advantage for bioinformatics researchers. They can completely utilize their time and focus on research work.
Especially, the research students working in the field of wet-lab were unable to pursue their research work. However, students in the field of bioinformatics continued their work at a lesser pace though than the normal times. Well, of course, only if they wanted to work without any excuse!
It also opened several other opportunities for bioinformaticists to design and develop new software/tools to facilitate wet-lab work. For instance, by developing software that could imitate the wet-lab experiments quite nearly, or by providing preliminary information on developing drugs and vaccines against covid19.
Besides, quite recently, bioinformatics is used in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) . As a result, new applets and programs were introduced that helped in tracking the spread of covid19. Many web tools and web-based platforms are developing to provide information regarding covid19 and in combating the same .
Bioinformatics research is also providing preliminary data on potential drugs and vaccine candidates. Besides, several other analyses are being carried out to combat covid19 [3,4]. Bioinformatics Review made a team of more than 100 bioinformatics researchers to find a cure for covid19. We updated our findings in a timely manner. Our team constructed a multi-epitope vaccine candidate against coronavirus. For details, read here.
Taken altogether, bioinformatics research is increasing in the pandemic. It results in new web resources, web tools, and apps during this time. This is a high-time to grab various opportunities by the bioinformaticians.
- Daniele Mercatelli, Andrew N Holding, Federico M Giorgi, Web tools to fight pandemics: the COVID-19 experience, Briefings in Bioinformatics, bbaa261, https://doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbaa261
- Chen, HZ., Tang, LL., Yu, XL. et al. Bioinformatics analysis of epitope-based vaccine design against the novel SARS-CoV-2. Infect Dis Poverty 9, 88 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00713-3