Bioinformatics is the art and science of electronically representing and integrating biomedical information in a way that makes it accessible and usable across the various fields of cancer research. Each discipline involved in the immense complex of cancer research generates volumes of data and research findings, all contributing vital threads of insight that bioinformatics specialists must weave together into a useful tapestry of knowledge. The challenge is to use electronic standards to devise systems that allow different sets of data to "talk" to one another. Such systems make it possible for scientists to use this new in silico biology to generate hypotheses; conduct virtual experiments using large collections of data from multiple sources; and create, manage, and communicate massive amounts of new knowledge in practical timeframes. In that way, it becomes possible to build computer models of biological structures and processes that represent the combined knowledge of many kinds of experts.
The challenge of integrating separate scientific vocabularies and insight is daunting because of the vastness and rapid evolution of the data. New models and tools are needed to allow scientists to bridge language, integrate concepts and information, and enable complex analysis. In this way, information systems will be a vital, dynamic tool in the hands of cancer researchers.
The purpose of this book series will be to introduce contributions, both methodological and technical, that have been made and are currently in progress in the fields of biostatistics and bioinformatics as a shared resource in cancer research, and to illustrate them with a wide range of timely applications in genetics, genomics, and biomedical areas. The distinguishing feature of this book series, which will set it apart from others with similar content is that topics are introduced and motivated through a specific cancer, such as acute myeloid leukemia, thyroid cancer, etc., with an alternation between methods and applications. The principles of biostatistics and bioinformatics will be introduced through applications. The book series will be unique in its focus and direction, as it offers a learning approach through motivating applications and therefore, its content is accessible to a wide range of fields, from biostatistics students to medical students.