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STRATEGIC ASPECTS BY TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFER FOR THE ACADEMIC AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OF THE BIOINFORMATIC IN COSTA RICA AND THE CENTRAL AMERICAN REGION
Author(s): Allan Orozco
Affiliations: University of Costa Rica
Keywords: Bioinformatics, Technological Transfer, Central America, Costa Rica
Abstract. The biological languages (nucleotides and amino acids) are important to design ad-vanced biotechnological and pharmaceutical products with Bioinformatic. Actually, in Universi-ties all over the world there are operating academic programs dedicated to prepare experts in this field. The regional proposal of the creation of a new “Bioinformatics and Computer Biotechnol-ogy Center” would have a main mission which fundamental purpose will be to innovate and support the local and regional scientific sector, opening doors and links to establish later a kind of link business center with emphasis in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics to bring services in Vegetal – Agro industrial Genomic with the object to establish a new business knowledge model in benefit of the economic growth of Central America. One of the first efforts that were estab-lished in Costa Rica in 2005, was the creation of the first courses of bioinformatics and computer biology at the 3 main universities of CR. They constitute the first courses of bioinformatics in the Central American Region
The bioinformatic is a science that organizes, saves, processes and analyzes the data and information of biological character by the model and simulation of objects and sys-tems, which uses diverse technological tools in its purpose to find the knowledge and solutions for the wealth of the human being . The bioinformatic is a multitask and autonomous discipline in which converges and integrates areas such as Agronomy, Biol-ogy, Biochemical, Statistics, Electronics, Math, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physics and Infor-matics (Fig 1).
In its general model, the DNA, has a similar structure to a ladder of rotated cord in helicoidally form, in which each step is a pair of united bases by diverse chemical connec-tion. Really the study of the DNA molecule and its components are key factors to under-stand the procreation and evolution of life from a genetic-molecular point of view, includ-ing causes and effects of many diseases of diverse origin that actually don’t have a cure.
The order of this bases (in an abbreviated way, each letter represents a nucleotides) letters in a writer language, determines the presence of combinations (character sequences or polynucleotide) with a useful meaning in front of possible combinations without mean-ing. To understand the book of life it is necessary to know the alphabets and words that rule its text and the grammatical rules that rule its composition (the verbs are signals to express the genes), process that starts precisely obtaining automatically and in a frag-mented way the diverse sequences of the characters A, T, C and G from the DNA molecule.
Actually, the world bioinformatics has generated great advances by studies of the ge-nome in the human being, but not so much in the vegetal and animal genome of the spe-cies (from land and sea). The regional biological resources of Latin America (plants, animals and other biodiversity) is not taken advantage of in a totally technological way because of the lack of collaboration between those who have the technology and those who have the specific resources for its development and investigation; limiting even oportunities in the growing of the world technology derived from the bioinformatics.
Costa Rica, is seen as a leader in the software development in Central America. The success has been obtained through the existent quality in our technological environment. The knowledge with a high creativity can generate innovative products in different fields. As it is demonstrated today by many Costa Rican software companies that have created unique applications worldwide. On the other hand, bioinformatics projects propose a vision of integration in multiple scientific and technological areas related with the mo-lecular investigation and our biodiversity genetics.
The advanced growing of the bioinformatics, will bring to the world a technological and economical pattern not even imagined in our actual society, developing a world of opportunities for the bio-businessmen of the future, as well as, if we talk of differential factors in Costa Rica, (and other countries in Latin America), we will have available a great comparative advantage in front of other nations: its own biodiversity; unique source of innumerable molecular variety, available for replication, application and registration creation of great monetary value patents. From this aggregate, by bioinformatics, it can be developed a pattern search, comparisons, alignments and functions to find a key molecule to develop products and services not existent in the ambient.
That same space, will give emphasis to the advanced technology development, taking advantage of the high creativity level of the Latin Americans. It will look for the participation of different professionals interested in the development of technological ideas with business purposes, mainly oriented to the software production field.
On the other hand, the establishment of a “Bio-software Campus” would be a very im-portant component in the improvement strategy of the software sector in Costa Rica. The idea will look for units and development groups with the intention to form their own company. It will motivate as well the creation of jobs and will accelerate models of eco-nomic development, based in the creation of micro and small companies in the (IT) sector, inside of a sustained mark of support, motivation and connection with the main education and technical centers of our country. The “Bio-software Campus” would look for that idealism to integrate different disciplines working in integrated business units with the object to develop technology in the bio-science.
For it, the zonal creation of a conglomerated of technological companies with empha-sis in bio-business where there would be a participation of foreign and local companies to sell their products and create investigation to generate new products in bioinformatics, which would bring an unique model in Central America, where there would be created economical links of great value between regional companies and the bioinformatics com-panies of other continents.
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1. Orozco, A.: Bioinformática: Un mundo de oportunidades. INCAE (with support of Harvard Business School), SSI. Vol 5. Costa Rica (2005) 1-3
2. Orozco, A. Bioinformática: Ingeniería de análisis para el código de la vida. Transferencia de Tecnología. ITCR. Año 12. Nº 63. Marzo - Abril (2004) 1-2
3. Orozco, A. Bioinformática: Métodos y técnicas digitales de diagnóstico genético. Transferencia de Tecnología . ITCR. Año 12. Nº64, Julio-Agosto. Costa Rica (2004) 4-5
4. Orozco, A. Diseño de una metodología aplicada en imágenes digitales para la detección cito-lógica del cáncer de mama a partir de biopsias. X Convención Internacional de Informática 2004. Primer Congreso Internacional de Bioinformática, Habana, Cuba. (2004) 363-364
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