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National Center for Biotechnology Information

Updated on October 7, 2014

About NCBI

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)was established in November 4, 1999 as a department of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The NLM was selected for this kind of work since it had sufficient expertise and experience in creation of bio-medical databases. Since it was one of the departments of the National Institute of Health, NLB was also capable of establishing an intramural research program in relation to computational molecular biology. The NIH’s research components constitute the largest research facilities in the globe today.

What NCBI Does

The major aim of the NCBI is to offer access to genomic and bio-medical information, as a means of advancing health and science. This organization is focused at development of new technologies that can be of assistance in comprehension of genetic and molecular processes in relation to diseases and health. In specific, the NBCI is mandated with creation of automated systems that analyze and store knowledge relating to genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology. Moreover, this entity facilitates the utilization of such software and databases by the medical scholars and research community in general. It also coordinates efforts to collect national, and international information, as well as constantly engaging in research to find advanced techniques of information processing that are computer based. These methods are deemed important in analyzing the funtions and structure of critical biological molecules.

How NCBI Carries its Mandate

NCBI undertakes regular research to establish potential biomedical issues at the molecular level by use of computational and mathematical techniques. The firm also collaborates with various industries, NIH institutes, academia and government agencies in gathering and disseminating biomedical and genomic information among its focus group. Further, NCBI sponsors meetings, lecture series and workshops as a way of reinforcing scientific communication. The organization also develops, supports, and coordinates accessibility to various software and databases by medical and scientific communities.

In addition, the entity develops and supports data exchange standards, dispositions, biological nomenclature and creation of databases. Through its Intramural Research department, NCBI supports basic and applied research training in the area of computational biology for fellows at the postdoctoral level. Finally, NCBI involves scientific community members in training and scientific research through its scientific sponsorship programs.

Main Programs and Activities

The major programs and activities of NCBI are grouped into three categories, that is basic research, databases and software, and finally education and outreach programs. In its research programs, NCBI has incorporated a group of experts and specialists comprising of molecular biologists, computer scientists, biochemists, mathematicians, and research physicians. All these research groups focus their energies on applied and basic research particulary in the niche of computational molecular biology. Employees who are highly trained in molecular biology create the NCBI databases and software. These databases are established from the sequences provided by specific laboratories and through data exchange with various national and international databases. NCBI also distributes different databases to medical and scientific communites.

Concerning education and outreach, NCBI sponsors meetings, lecture series, and workshops as a means of enhencing scientific communication in the niche of computers, in relation to genetics and molecular biology. The entity has also created a scientific visitors program with an aim of fostering partnership with extramural scientists. The organization also provides vancies for post-doctoral fellows as part of its intramural research program.

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