Much of the promise of bioinformatics likely lies with the big money and novel approaches of the private sector. At a late October symposium titled "Biosilico 2000," several bioinformatics company executives came together at the Trump Plaza in New York City to discuss the state of the immensely expansive and increasingly heterogeneous field of bioinformatics. Not surprisingly, many touted their products and business plans; but they also discussed and compared philosophies for engaging in the daunting task of applying information technology to biology, chemistry, and medicine.

Sponsored by Scientific American magazine, the symposium, the first of a series to be held annually, addressed the crucial dilemma faced by these companies, many of them only a few years old: How will they and their customers keep from drowning in an ever-increasing sea of raw genomics data that, largely a result of the Human Genome Project, has inundated biology and chemistry?


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