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The Center for Biological Informatics serves as the operating agent for the National Biological Information Infrastructure, hosting top-level pages, managing the NBII search engine, and developing and providing standards and procedures for acquiring, managing, and sharing biological data and information. CBI also develops, identifies, and provides access to tools that facilitate collection and use of biological information and data, and cooperates with others to improve access to existing information and data not housed at the center. It is our intent that informatics, applied in this way, will be helpful and, indeed, indispensable for scientists, research biologists, resource managers, decision makers, educators, and the public. In addition, CBI manages national data collection programs that complement and strengthen its role within the NBII.

Informatics: Research on, development of, and use of technological, sociological, and organizational tools and approaches for the dynamic acquisition, indexing, dissemination, storage, querying, retrieval, visualization, integration, analysis, synthesis, sharing (which includes electronic means of collaboration), and publication of data such that economic and other benefits may be derived from the information by users from all sectors of society. (Definition provided by the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.)

The term "biological informatics," then, refers to the development and use of computer, statistical, and other tools in the collection, organization, dissemination, and use of information to solve problems in the life sciences.

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