Bioinformatics is the use of computing hardware and software to analyze very large amounts of data relevant to exploring biological hypothesis. Bioinformatics include the use of software and high performance computing to assess human patient’s genomes for disease or risk, to piece together and analyze novel bacterial species for the ability to produce new antibiotics, to model how new cancer therapeutics would affect their designed targets, and the searching of phylogenetic markers that could indicate which population protected or endangered species reside from.
Bioinformatics at Oklahoma State University includes a wide range of projects ranging from study of the smallest yet most numerically dominant members of the ecosystem (bacteria) to most everyone’s most immediately concerning member of the ecosystem (humans). Some examples of projects which have been conducted or are ongoing include the following:
- Analysis of fungi which reside in the rumen for novel enzymes to produce biofuel from easily farmed plants such as switchgrass
- Genome sequencing and analysis of an emerging pathogen that causes considerable economic damage to the poultry industry
- Sequencing of microbial ecosystems to discovery new bacterial species which novel metabolically capabilities
- Analysis of methods to decrease the probability a chicken will be infected with salmonella
Brian Couger was hired in the fall of 2015 as the OSU HPCC bioinformatics specialist. Couger (firstname.lastname@example.org) supports and collaborates with the analysis of large bioinformatics data, provides consultation on sequencing and bioinformatics project design, assists with synthesis of bioinformatics related sections of publications and facilitates the use of local and national high performance computing resources.