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on August 25, 2006 at 11:48:17 pm

Amateur Bioinformatics Wiki


Who is this for


So you're interested in biology. Maybe you took some courses and really liked it. Perhaps you like to read books like The Selfish Gene or Endless Forms Most Beautiful. You'd like to get your hands dirty, find something interesting on your own but lets face it, setting up a lab is expensive. Now with the internet and all kinds of published data, there is a place you can contribute - Bioinformatics. This page is for talented amateurs - someone who wants to dedicate some time to answering serious biology questions. You can make a contribution, just like the countless talented amateurs of various open source projects or serious astronomy amateurs.


The other goal of this Wiki is to use resources that are free (or cheap). This means free open access journals, free software and books you could get from the public library.


Where to Start


  • Learn: Biology has a language all its own. You need to learn how to speak it and that will be a serious investment. Learning is a non-stop process, its always good to expand your knowledge.
  • Research: After you've got some background knowledge you can start looking at the state of current knowledge. But like they say, 6 months in the lab can save you an afternoon in the library.
  • Bioinformatics Tools: After you've come up with some good questions, its time to start looking around and testing your hypothesis.


You'll notice there are no numbers on this list. It's not a 1-2-3 process. Amateur or expert, you're always going through the list again and again. That's what makes it so interesting.


What to do


How to Contribute


You want to help with the wiki - awesome, because the wiki really needs the help. I'm not a bioinformatician so while I'm familiar with lots of the research my experience has limits. If you are skilled in bioinformatics or have something to add please e-mail me so I can add you to the wiki. I don't have it wide open right now just to avoid spam. This may change depending on how things go.



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