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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.
* 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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