International Environmental 'Omics Synthesis Conference, University of St Andrews, 6-9 July 2015

  • Daniel Barker (Invited speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Pervasive Bioinformatics

We are in an age of pervasive computing. Every reader is likely to own several computers, each more powerful than a Cold War-era supercomputer. But, despite the ubiquity of computers and the importance of computation to research in life sciences, bioinformatics is not yet pervasive - being largely confined to universities, research institutes and specialist departments. The main barrier to the broader uptake of bioinformatics is a relative lack of education in the subject. The 4273π project ( aims to address this, providing Open Access educational materials in bioinformatics for the Raspberry Pi. An emphasis on the command line and research-grade analyses in 4273π ensures that skills and understanding scale well to the most powerful supercomputers, now and in the future. Such initiatives will provide young people with a technical background in computation and will allow bioinformatics to become a tool widely used by anyone. Some problems - for example, difficulties of complexity in phylogeny reconstruction - will never be solved by pervasive bioinformatics alone. However, broad uptake of bioinformatics will provide an atmosphere in which rapid progress is possible. I discuss drivers and consequences of a future of pervasive bioinformatics.

Period8 Jul 2015
Event titleInternational Environmental 'Omics Synthesis Conference, University of St Andrews, 6-9 July 2015
Event typeOther