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Integrated Bioinformatics System: Pete Smietana, Biosearch, Inc., 1985

The following is a copy of a drawing from presentations made at  the Scientific Computing and Automation Conference, Pete Smietana, Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 1-3, 1985

Title 1: An Intelligent-Systems Approach for Automated Peptide Synthesis
Title 2: Interfacing Computers to Automated Chemical Instruments

Even though Bioinformatics was not a term used in 1985 like it is today, this was an integrated system that combined public Protein and DNA databases using a modem as the network connection. The above system  represents a Peptide Synthesis Workstation, but it was also used for DNA synthesis. Users would access the public databases for sequences to be synthesized and then download them to a database file. The system included an electronic laboratory notebook that contained the sequence, other downloaded information and synthesis tracking data. It also had an expert system  language for writing instrument control protocols and for analyzing the downloaded sequence to be synthesized for adjustments in chemistry and coupling times. It performed a set of calculations on the amount of bases or amino acids needed for the synthesis as well as the reagent volumes and the times when the reservoirs would need to be refilled. The system could control 1-8 DNA or Peptide synthesis instruments at a time.

The architecture of today's Bioinformatics systems which use high speed servers, workstations and networks with new types of instrumentation, exponentially growing databases and powerful data mining tools share a history with systems like the above system developed at Biosearch.



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Last modified: May 2017