It is fair to say that the human body contains a lot of data. Not only is our DNA made up of about three billion genome bases, if you laid out all the DNA in the human body, it would stretch to twice the diameter of the Solar System and each cell’s DNA would be three-metre long — now amounting to a lot of data.
Biotechnology, the use of living organisms or biological systems and their derivatives to make products, is propelled forward by data, information, and statistics. In 2014, according to Science magazine, bioinformatics became a discipline in its own right rather than a tool in a biologist or biotechnologist’s armoury. Business intelligence, data analytics, and technological advances are crucial to the development of new technologies and treatments, and to overcome current challenges. By making sense of big data, from genomics or from sensors, we can identify potential drug targets, improve processes, bring new drugs to market, and reduce errors in clinical trials.