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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 74, No. 6, pp. iv (2002)

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Vol. 74, Issue 6


Bioinformatics is rapidly emerging as a new branch of science. It is widely believed that scientists in developing countries will be able to significantly contribute to the progress of this field since the capital investment needed for bioinformatics research may be much smaller than for experimental biological sciences. However, the advancement of bioinformatics science in developing countries requires not only competent human resources, but also good ideas and problems. Without good communication with state-of-the-art experimental laboratories, there is a clear danger that small bioinformatics teams in developing countries may try to address irrelevant questions. Without good communication with stateof-the-art bioinformatics laboratories, there is a danger of using suboptimal technology to address the problems. To avoid these dangers, there must be forums where bioinformatics scientists in developing countries interact with their counterparts in developed countries, as well as with biologists from various disciplines. This can be done through scientific publications as well as meetings and seminars. There are several good international bioinformatics conferences. The fact that they are mostly organized in the developed world limits the access of scientists from developing countries. Moreover, there are problems that are of urgent importance for developing countries, such as those relating to agriculture and biodiversity. The International Conference on Bioinformatics 2002: North­South Networking (INCOB2002) was held in Bangkok to provide a forum for facilitating these interactions.

The conference participants enjoyed the privileges of attending several interesting lectures on the current status of bioinformatics, as well as research presentations by scientists from more than 20 countries. The papers describing the works of several plenary speakers are published in this issue of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC). INCOB2002 has been such a successful event in providing understanding between scientists with different backgrounds, the participants agreed to hold similar meetings every one or two years. These meetings, as well as communication of research works through publications like PAC, will be among the essential components for generating more interaction between bioinformatics scientists around the world. With these interactions, the successful spread of bioinformatics in developing countries will finally be realized.

Prasit Palittapongarnpim
Conference Editor

* Preface to the Plenary lectures presented at the International Conference on Bioinformatics 2002: North-South Networking, Bangkok, Thailand, 6-8 February 2002. Other presentations are presented in this issue, pp. 881-914.

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