Towards an integrated data environment: a review of database development in bioinformatics

Author: Yue Wang, MS

Primary Advisor: Hongbin Wang, PhD

Committee Members: Todd R. Johnson, PhD; Jiajie Zhang, PhD

Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.

Bioinformatics is an emerging field that attempts to use mathematical, statistical and computer methods to understand biological, biochemical and biophysical data. A central component in bioinformatics research is the management of biomedical data, ranging from data acquisition and organization, data analysis and explanation, to data modeling and simulation. Almost all the applications in bioinformatics are data-related, which made database design and organization a focal issue in bioinformatics. Usually, the contents of the databases in bioinformatics are correlated with each other and have to be accessed simultaneously, which gave rise to the issue of integration of heterogeneous database systems. This article gives an overview to the current status of biomedical databases and database techniques, and suggests an integrated data environment and its potential significance in supporting various interdisciplinary studies in biomedical sciences.