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Types of biological Database in Bioinformatics

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 22 Jan, 2021
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Biological Databases :

  • These are the databases consisting of biological data like protein sequencing, molecular structure, DNA sequences, etc in an organized form.
  • Several computer tools are there to manipulate the biological data like an update, delete, insert, etc. Scientists, researchers from all over the world enter their experiment data and results in a biological database so that it is available to a wider audience.
  • Biological databases are free to use and contain a huge collection of a variety of biological data.

Uses of biological Databases :

  • It helps the researchers to study the available data and form a new thesis, anti-virus, helpful bacteria, medicines, etc.
  • It helps scientists to understand the concepts of biological phenomena.
  • The database acts as a storage of information.
  • It helps remove the redundancy of data.

Types of Biological Databases :

There are basically 3 types of biological databases are as follows.

1. Primary databases :

  • It can also be called an archival database since it archives the experimental results submitted by the scientists. The primary database is populated with experimentally derived data like genome sequence, macromolecular structure, etc. The data entered here remains uncurated(no modifications are performed over the data).
  • It obtains unique data obtained from the laboratory and these data are made accessible to normal users without any change.
  • The data are given accession numbers when they are entered into the database. The same data can later be retrieved using the accession number. Accession number identifies each data uniquely and it never changes.

Examples –

  • Examples of Primary database- Nucleic Acid Databases are GenBank and DDBJ  
  • Protein Databases are PDB,SwissProt,PIR,TrEMBL,Metacyc, etc.

2. Secondary Database :

  • The data stored in these types of databases are the analyzed result of the primary database. Computational algorithms are applied to the primary database and meaningful and informative data is stored inside the secondary database. 
  • The data here are highly curated(processing the data before it is presented in the database). A secondary database is better and contains more valuable knowledge compared to the primary database.

Examples –

Examples of Secondary databases are as follows.

  • InterPro (protein families, motifs, and domains)
  • UniProt Knowledgebase (sequence and functional information on proteins)  

3. Composite Databases :

  • The data entered in these types of databases are first compared and then filtered based on desired criteria. 
  • The initial data are taken from the primary database, and then they are merged together based on certain conditions. 
  • It helps in searching sequences rapidly. Composite Databases contain non-redundant data. 

Examples –

Examples of Composite Databases are as follows.

  • Composite Databases -OWL,NRD and Swissport +TREMBL
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