Report of the Bioinformatics Task Force for 2008

from Jean Garnier

Bioinformatics has become a discipline in itself and is well integrated into Biophysics. This is not because biologists need to digitalized their data and analyze them with computers but because this discipline needs to apply algorithms which come from concept or techniques developed in Physics or in Mathematics or to implement rigorous statistical tools for biological data analysis. These data can be obtained by molecular biological techniques, more exactly biochemical ones but also from physical analysis for macromolecular structure determination with synchroton radiation for instance. Bioinformatics is going also to be involved in the developing field of macromolecular interaction networks in systems biology or in the metagenome projects.
The Inter-Unions Bioinformatics Group had its last follow-up meeting at the CODATA Conference in Beijing (China) on 23-25 October 2006. A round-table on Primary Biological databases attended by about thirty participants followed a session on this subject with Jean Garnier as chairman. This round-table was animated by H. Berman, Protein Data Bank, Rutgers University, USA, C. O’Donovan and G. Cochrane from the European Bioinformatics Institute, Hixton, UK, H. Sugawara from the DNA Data Bank, Japan and Jean Garnier. It underlined the importance of biological databases not only in biology in general but also more specifically in Biophysics.
The membership of IUPAB to CODATA has been renewed at the 17th General Assembly in Long Beach, Feb 4, 2008. From 2002 to 2008 Jean Garnier has been a member of the executive committee of CODATA and he has represented IUPAB at the last 26th General Assembly of CODATA in Kiev, Ukraine on October 9 and 10, 2008 and chaired two sessions: Biomedical data sharing and informatics and Biological and Genetics Data at the 21st International CODATA Conference also in Kiev on October 5-8, 2008. See also the report on CODATA.
The Task Force on Bioinformatics has been renewed at the last General assembly of IUPAB. Since Jean Garnier is not any more member of the IUPAB council, a new member will have to be nominated among the Council members and if possible as Convener of the Task Force.