Forum: Is Bioinformatics On Decline? Only In The Web, Or Also Within Institutions?
6
gravatar for Senthil
7.0 years ago by
Senthil140
Senthil140 wrote:

Hi All,

Bhrat Brij, SEO expert, has recently published a blog post raising concerns about bioinformatics.

Most of the people have no clue where to go after having studied bioinformatics. There is also a lot of confusion about the meaning of the word 'bioinformatics' itself: many people keep asking what 'bioinformatics' is and which are its practical applications.

Is Bioinformatics really declining in India? or is this an artifact and only online web presence is decreasing? In case it is that only web presence getting declined, why that so?

What are your views on this?

forum subjective • 13k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 3.0 years ago by rathankar10 • written 7.0 years ago by Senthil140
18

Given that you can't spell it, I'd have to say yes.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Neilfws48k
18

A bit harsh on a non-native english speaker. The question is clearly relevant to India: indian tech colleges are producing many bioinformatics graduates that we do not hire. Market saturation? Lack of experience? Perceived inadequacies in training? My experiences with such graduates are limited to less than a dozen and I would not want to generalise as to why this might be.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Alastair Kerr5.2k
10

Why would I bother about some random blog posts of some random guys?

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Michael Dondrup44k
9

My comment was nothing to do with English language ability - you'll note that they can spell it correctly, when they try. Sloppy typos indicate to me a lack of care in asking questions.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Neilfws48k
7

I am from India and I have a fair understanding of bioinformaitcs experts from India (both scientific and technology experts). Never heard of "Bhrat Brij", I would pass this one if you want me to comment on Brij's take on decline in Google Trends for the search term "bioinformatics".

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Khader Shameer17k
3

@Bhrat: What u have presented in your blog is just one sided perspective. As far as Indian Bioinformatics is concerned, better check out the work/reserch carried out at CDFD, CDRI, IITR, IIIT's, NBRI, TIFR, BARC... list is endless... check their publications and you will know the quality of Bioinformatics and its growth in India.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k
3

Hey, this is not a discussion forum, if you haven't noticed yet.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Michael Dondrup44k
2

Now you get into regional division tell me from which region of India I should name a University or RI which is doing reasonable well in the field. Secondly, in most part of the world undergraduates in BI often end up jobless or they turn towards core informatics line (In India they are hired by Infosys, Wipro, TCS, US Tech., and many more.... and these IT giants have big Pharma industries as clients as an example Merck is client of Cognizant.... hence I don't see the decline)... Kindly see the Answer from Dr. Chris Evelo.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k
2

Have a look ak GGSIP,DU, etc in north India and you will see how well they are running Bachelor courses in life science. Before you make such comments on an international platform please get your facts corrected because you are projecting all the Indian Universities good for nothing. Which is not true. In my opinion you had opted for a wrong University in India (and this can happen with any student and in any part of the world).

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k
1

I have no clue what your question is.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k
1

ok, I have tried to restructure the question to make it easier to read. I hope I didn't change the meaning of the original question. Feel free to revert the changes to the previous version.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k
1

@SNPMiner: I agree with your point of view too but I just wanted to bring the Northern Indian scenario. They have done research no doubt but what is being done to develop this course in grass root level? I want to raise a questions: Why there are no takers in undergraduate courses in North India for Bioinformatics?? Why colleges are shutting courses for undergraduates? Reason is bit clear: If people don't see future in a course, why they will take it!

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60
1

oh no, it is back on top again

ADD REPLYlink written 4.9 years ago by Michael Dondrup44k

A small edit (Asia)

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

Thanks for editing SNPminer. Now the question does make sense, even if the blog posts do not in my opinion.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k

Hello Khader,

Bhrat here. Its not about if Bhrat is a common name in Bioinformatics or not but if I have presented the correct figure on Indian Bioinformatics scenario or not?

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

Take Punjab University and Haryana University. I know aleast 2 colleges where B.Sc. (Bioinformatics) is closed now. Let me tell you in and around there are 6-8 colleges offering B.Sc. Bioinformatics. In other two colleges, there are no or less than 5 admissions in B.Sc. Bioinformatics. I am not talking about undergraduates, I am talking about post graduates not getting absorbed into Bioinformatics. In seven years, I know only 10 among 300-400 post graduates who are into Bioinformatics still, rest into other lines and I have seen answer of Dr. Chris Evelo.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

Have look ak GGSIP,DU, etc in north India and you will see how well they are running Bachelor courses in life science. Before you make such comments on an international platform please get your facts corrected because you are projecting all the Indian Universities good for nothing. Which is not true. In my opinion you had opted for a wrong University in India (and this can happen with any student and in any part of the world).

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

Dear running B.Sc. in Science and B.Sc in Bioinformatics is entirely different.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

@Bhrat: B.Sc in life science I meant secondly B.Tech in BI from DU or GGSIP or any University is quite good. For instance take IIIT's or IIT's. Problem is you all come out of your nappies and start demanding a good position in BI and when you don't get it, the first thing to do is to blame teachers followed by University and then the country.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

@SNPMiner: I am not blaming any one for myself if you think I am job less. FYI I am running two companies (though they are not big, 20 employees in each). I was just highlighting the issues which many people have faced.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

@Bhrat: I never said that u were jobless and good for you that u own 2 companies. But what u are highlighting and the way you are highlighting is not appropriate. You are presenting the facts which are unidirectional and by doing such an act you are probable ruining or putting doubts (regarding educational system in India) in the minds of the people present here (Many of them are team leaders and potential recruiters) and furthermore many of them have Indian co-workers or PhD students or Post Docs under them.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

@SNPMiner: I never started that :) You can check I realized it today when I saw visits to my posts from this link.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60
42
gravatar for Chris Evelo
7.0 years ago by
Chris Evelo9.9k
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Chris Evelo9.9k wrote:

I think Alastair is right, there really is an enormous problem related to this. If you put any open position in bioinformatics online you get at least a hundred replies from India (and China) and since we have no clue how to discriminate the good ones from the bad ones we usually ignore them. Typically they studied almost everything according to their CVs and had grades somewhere in the top 90% at least for some kind of scoring system that we don't understand either. So if you are on the other side of the story the question "how do I get a job or at least an opportunity to continue studying?" is a very legitimate one.

Here are some advices.

  1. Don't even try to get a job with just a BSc or a BTech. Continue to do a masters first. If you can do (part of) your masters in Europe or the US that will definitely give you an advantage, but you will need at least that masters. Check out other questions here on BioStar about opportunities.
  2. Try to publish something. Even being active here on BioStar or on blogs is already helpful.
  3. Be critical about your own CV. Explain what the notes actually mean, include only the relevant things (I really don't want to know that you also learned MS-DOS or know how to run a web browser). Write it yourself! I see CVs from different persons that are identical.
  4. Read the advertizement and respond to it. This is really important. A future employer wants to know why you think the job is interesting and why you are an interesting candidate. Motivations that say you want to improve the world as a whole may sound nice, but they don't help.
  5. Put the most relevant things on top, or in your letter (or both). Be aware that people will probably make up their mind in the first 5 seconds when reading your letter.
  6. Have the English checked.
  7. After doing a masters the most logical thing is to try to get a PhD, at least if you want to continue in research. So look for opportunities to do that. If you can do a PhD in India try to go to the best institute (you already know that, don't you?), try to publish your work, and try to collaborate with research institutes abroad. That might sometimes even allow you to get a dual degree.
ADD COMMENTlink modified 7.0 years ago • written 7.0 years ago by Chris Evelo9.9k
5

I wish every one in India who wants to purse a career in bioinformatics can read this comment especially what to put in the CV.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Gjain5.2k
2

These are invaluable suggestions from one of the best coaches in the field.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k
1

Sorry for being so offensive, but lets take example of IMTECH, a reputed research institute for Bioinformatics in North India. Students even don't know on local level (forget Global level) about their tools and usage (Ref: http://imtech.res.in/bic/).

I am not trying to prove myself right but want to mention that we need to do something to scale it up in Northren parts of India.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

I've also seen CV's that are identical in format, with identical marks with identical subjects but from different people.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Alastair Kerr5.2k

@Chris Evelo: Bhrat here. About whose site link is in question here. I agree with all your view points but situations vary from country to country. Sir, over here in 5 years of undergraduation and post graduation, no or very little practical work is being carried out. Teachers over here are more interested in getting their projects done/papers published rather than involving students here. After three years of being in Bioinformatics, students can't write programs to solve Bioinformatics problems, can't even mine data correctly. Over here, things are taught in theory rather than pratically.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

@Bhrat: Before You generalise all universities from India would you mind telling us from which University or college have you received your Degree. It appears you are generalising all universities from India on same scale (Specially the words you are using). Most importantly you can only learn from a teacher/coach/mentor if you have any respect from him. The university from where I graduated and completed my Master's (and the Universities I know in India) they all offer practical as well as theoretical knowledge.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

@Bhrat:Hence, the question is back to you... did you opt for a wrong college in India for a course in BI? and now you are now scaling all Indian Universities on same scale? What efforts did you put in to gain insights in BI? As your blog says good experience in BI (4.5 yrs, which is not enormous to make such naive comments).

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

@SNPMiner: I always mentioned that post for Northern Indian Universities.

Regarding my insights, I have input 5 years in Bioinformatics as a student. My company is handling data mining for a US based company along with Biostatistics work for 2 companies. So I am not one who is jobless and begging for jobs. I have taught Bioinformatics as Guest lecturer in colleges and taught students Java.

Can you please tell me (if you can get some data) how much of data handling of genome project is done in India when compared to other developed economies, or lets say proteomics/sequencing/MS data?

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

@SNPminer: Well, its not about demanding a better position but right directions as one finish college or universtity, state after that is not good. I could be luckier here as have an running IT setup.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

Have you ever heard of CDRI, CDFD, BARC, TIFR etc they all handle genomic data. You have invested 5 years as a student, did you publish anything (as we don't see your name anywhere in PubMed)? As far IMTECH is concerned have you ever heard of this name Dr. GPS Raghava.....

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

Dear question is how much percentage people are into it. I have heard about all and visited a few of them too. Yes, I agree no paper published on my name but that doesn't entitle that I don't have any knowledge or making baseless remarks. Yes, I have heard and met Sir personally and asked the same question from him couple of years ago: Why are we not using your software for PSP/active site prediction(s) and all...

Again, take from a student's perspective. You being +2 appeared or take B.Sc. students, they will opt for those streams where they see their 40-60% seniors getting job not 1-10%.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

Lets end the discussion, as your facts and figures are quite twisted and unidirectional.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

Lets end the discussion, as your facts and figures are quite twisted and unidirectional. Just because your college and few other colleges decided to not run BI courses any more, You interpreted it as a decline in BI in Northern India. No offences it appears to me, " your hands have been burned and you are advising everyone not to use LPG". :)

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

Yeah sure.. Even my intent was never to start an discussion over here. It was posted by someone.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60

This answer is pretty well written. I have seen lot of Indian students exaggerating their credentials and falsifying their resumes. I can confidently say that until and unless you did your undergrad from one of the top institutes back in India including IITs, NITs you lie nowhere if you are competing for the science related jobs in US. It is always recommended to pursue a PhD from either US or some decent European country if you are targeting for scientific jobs in US. BTW, I am an Indian student studying in US :-)

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.9 years ago • written 4.9 years ago by Ashutosh Pandey11k
29
gravatar for Lars Juhl Jensen
7.0 years ago by
Copenhagen, Denmark
Lars Juhl Jensen11k wrote:

I personally have a few different suggestions as to why bioinformatics is on decline. It could be because of the decline in computers combined with the decline in the major types of data that bioinformaticians analyze, e.g. from genomics and proteomics. Maybe all of this is caused by the declining interest in funding. Or maybe it is just due to the general decline in intelligence.

More likely, though, it is just a normalization artefact, namely a general baseline shift in Google searches caused by the ever increasing hordes hunting for porn. Thankfully real bioinformaticians know all about how to deal with such normalization problems.

alt text

Google trends for bioinformatics (light blue), computers (red), genomics (orange), proteomics (green), and porn (dark blue). Full version.

ADD COMMENTlink modified 7.0 years ago • written 7.0 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k
1

At least the world is safe http://www.google.com/trends?q=world&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0 !

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.8 years ago • written 7.0 years ago by Michael Dondrup44k

I wouldn't worry about a decline in sequence data. With the last SRA paper I think they said that their database was doubling in size every 10 months, and predicted a similar rate to continue for years to come.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.9 years ago by scottwilliamrobinson100
19
gravatar for Michael Dondrup
7.0 years ago by
Bergen, Norway
Michael Dondrup44k wrote:

The following term was not found in PubMed: Bhrat Brij[Author].

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Michael Dondrup44k
34

Irrelevant. PubMed is on the decline. http://www.google.com/trends?q=pubmed

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Jeremy Leipzig17k
3

Nice one Jeremy ;-)

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k
1

ROFL.........

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Michael Dondrup44k
1

thank you so much for the comment :-)

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Michael Schubert6.8k

What an answer ..... Perfect 10/10

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Dataminer2.5k

Wonderful! MMD :D

ADD REPLYlink written 6.8 years ago by Jonasr120
10
gravatar for lh3
7.0 years ago by
lh331k
United States
lh331k wrote:

Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter.

Those Google trends plots only show how often the word "bioinformatics" is searched. For me, I do not know why I want to put a word "bioinformatics" in google. Searching it less often actually means more people know the meaning of "bioinformatics", which is a sign of the rise of bioinformatics instead of decline. BTW, this word is mostly searched in India (region) and in Korean (language), which is quite surprising. Perhaps they are mostly curious to know what bioinformatics is about? Or do they have a robot to query google constantly for some survey?

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by lh331k
10
gravatar for seidel
7.0 years ago by
seidel6.5k
United States
seidel6.5k wrote:

On the decline in what regard? Importance? Opportunity? Usefulness?

Saying "bioinformatics is on the decline" is like saying "the internet is on the decline" at any point in the last 15 years. He fails to establish two things: a definition of what's important, and a causal link between importance and search engine trends. If he wants to determine what's important in the world based on search engine trends, that his prerogative, but he probably thinks that p53 is the only protein worth studying, and Britney Spears is dead.

The rate of data generation is increasing. The rate of information processing in biology is a rate limiting step. Bioinformaticists are the valve. Those with imagination can seize the opportunities. Bhrat would do better to focus on that, rather than search engine optimization (then again, once you call yourself a "marketing expert", I'm not sure there's any going back).

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by seidel6.5k
3

But the internet is on decline ;-) http://www.google.com/trends?q=the+internet

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k
1

Oh...now that the question has been reworded, my answer is less relevant. I think Chris Evelo is right on. I've interviewed people from India with resumes that look like they can solve any biological problem available, but then under questioning it all falls apart. The same is true for some schools in the US churning out job seekers with a degree title rather than people with real skills and experience. Nonetheless, there's no substitute for real work, and doing real work gives a true idea of what's important, not examining search engine trends.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by seidel6.5k
6
gravatar for Giovanni M Dall'Olio
4.9 years ago by
London, UK
Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k wrote:

According to this comic, Bioinformatics will become outdated just after Political Science, and before Psychology:

enter image description here

(source: http://abstrusegoose.com/531 )

I believe everything that appear in web comics, so this is most certainly true.

ADD COMMENTlink written 4.9 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k
5
gravatar for Giovanni M Dall'Olio
7.0 years ago by
London, UK
Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k wrote:

I don't think that bioinformatics is declining. There are a few observations that can be made:

  • The word 'bioinformatics' has always been used as a generic container to refer to different fields. As time passes, new words have been coined to better define these distinct fields. For example, ten years ago, the word 'structural biology' wasn't popular, and people used 'bioinformatics' to refer to what today we call 'structural biology'. As another example, today we use 'genome assembly' to define one aspect of bioinformatics that a few years ago we didn't had the need to define as a distinct field. So, the word 'bioinformatics' itself is being used less, but it is because it is being replaced by more precise words.

  • Bioinformatics is an highly technological field, and requires an advanced training. After the financial crisis and the cut to fundings to research in many countries, fewer people have been able to afford this training. As such, it may be true that bioinformatics has seen some decline in the recent years... but that is due to a general decline in all research fields. It is a sort of 'background effect' due to the fact that all research is decreasing.

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Giovanni M Dall'Olio26k
3
gravatar for Allpowerde
7.0 years ago by
Allpowerde1.2k
Allpowerde1.2k wrote:

Bioinf has struggled to be recognized in the past (See Ouzounis' paper "Two or three myths about bioinformatics.", "Bioinformatics and the theoretical foundations of molecular biology.") and was, IMHO, about to gain serious momentum as an independent research area. But with current high-throughput hypes creating a "unfunded demand" for bioinformaticians the future success of this area is about to be jeopardized again.

More specifically, every institute seems to be jumping on the high-throughput bandwagon but many leave the analysis to overworked entry-level staff, which creates a serious gap between good solid bioinf and husch-pfusch rockstar code-pasting exercises.

So, depending on how the majority of researchers answer the question of "How important is bioinformatics and how to make a case for it?", bioinf might indeed be heading for an new identity crisis.

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Allpowerde1.2k
6

Actually, being a cynic I see this as an opportunity. Institutes pour large amounts of money into producing big datasets, which they publish with subpar analysis. There are thus large amounts of published data available for me to download, reanalyze properly, and make scientific discoveries and papers based on.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.0 years ago by Lars Juhl Jensen11k
2
gravatar for Kieren Lythgow
6.8 years ago by
Southampton
Kieren Lythgow110 wrote:

Entering 'bioinformatics' into Google Trends and inserting the image into a blog post is not what I'd refer to as 'work'. Its totally misleading for many of the reasons already stated above. A more appropriate assessment would be to assess the job websites and private company websites in India. A quick look on the website Indeed searching bioinformatics returns a reasonable number of jobs in both North and South India:

http://www.indeed.co.in/jobs?q=bioinformatics&l=india

There are many large biotech and genomics companies in India as well that take on bioinformatics graduates including Monsanto, Life Technologies, Roche, Strand Genomics, Genotypic, Geschickten Solutions, Ocimum Biosolutions, Xcelris Labs to name just a few.

These companies could be approached directly to determine if there are any positions within the company or to receive any feedback about the future plans for recruitment of bioinformaticians or computational biologists.

In terms of future opportunities in India, the decline of cost regarding equipment for next generation sequencing should lead to an increase in demand for bioinformatics expertise.

ADD COMMENTlink written 6.8 years ago by Kieren Lythgow110
1
gravatar for Bhrat
7.0 years ago by
Bhrat60
Bhrat60 wrote:

Hello All,

Bhrat here (the guy whose work is in debate here).

While coming before here, I did a lot of research on it and found some comments true and some not but I want to add I am not alone who has raised this question. I found one companion http://blog.keithbradnam.com/the-slow-death-of-bioinformatics-and-the-eter He has done same research but in a more detailed manner.

I am in sync with allPowerde as even I talked about the gap in demand-and-supply which is not wide in this industry (in India) and over here colleges are shutting down under graduate courses in Bioinformatics.

No offences meant but I just wanted to share plight of hundreds of Bioinformaticians in India and no is speaking out for them.

Looking forward to your views.

Thanks, Bhrat

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Bhrat60
3

I think this should be a comment, not an answer.

ADD REPLYlink written 6.9 years ago by Khader Shameer17k
1
gravatar for Ritu Chhikara
7.0 years ago by
Ritu Chhikara30 wrote:

Hello Bhrat,

Even I am from BioInformatics background. You know when I was in M.Sc, even I was worried about my future in BioInformatics. And Yes, you are absolutely correct that many colleges are shutting down Graduation courses in this field, even from mine's college from where I have done Graduation in this field, now closed this field. Main reason behind this is that strength of students was now not that much as it was initially. Even I never saw a batch-mate of mines getting absorbed in field of BioInformatics, and closing of courses is another proof.

Will wait for your reply.

Thanks,

Ritu

ADD COMMENTlink written 7.0 years ago by Ritu Chhikara30
0
gravatar for Prath A
6.9 years ago by
Prath A0
Prath A0 wrote:

There are/were too many universities offering bioinformatics courses and way too many students, who ultimately graduate without any “jobs”. Many bioinformatics programs in India are closing down because of lack of interested students. All this is again ultimately related to “lack of expected jobs” in this field in India.

ADD COMMENTlink written 6.9 years ago by Prath A0
0
gravatar for Christian
4.2 years ago by
Christian2.6k
Cambridge, US
Christian2.6k wrote:

Lincoln Stein's paper (2008) is probably interesting in this context: Bioinformatics: alive and kicking

ADD COMMENTlink written 4.2 years ago by Christian2.6k
0
gravatar for rathankar
3.0 years ago by
rathankar10
rathankar10 wrote:

I agree with brij, since am an example. 

I have done my phd in bioinformatics [sequence and structural analysis], but was unemployed for nearly a year in that field. Today's bioinformatics is very vast, and to some extent include programming and wetlabs as a skill , rather than just being an analyst. people are now looking for multidisciplinary fields, and thats were bioinformatics opportunities are becoming less and no jobs in this sector.

ADD COMMENTlink written 3.0 years ago by rathankar10
Please log in to add an answer.

Help
Access

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.
Powered by Biostar version 2.3.0
Traffic: 1003 users visited in the last hour