BINFSOC - UNSW Bioinformatics Society

What is bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data. It is a combination of computer science, biology, chemistry, and statistics where computers facilitate the application of information technology to the storage, management, and analysis of biological information. It has been applied to medical, evolutionary and conservation research.

Areas of bioinformatics include:

  • Sequences - DNA, RNA, protein sequence analysis, genome sequences
  • Proteomics - identifying and studying the interactions, function and composition of proteins
  • Transcriptomics - understanding which genes are transcribed/expressed in a cell

Applications of bioinformatics include:

  • Medical imaging
  • Drug discovery
  • Wildlife tracking and biodiversity monitoring


UNSW Bioinformatics Society is a student-run society for those interested in computer science, biology, or a combination of the two. 

Founded in 2020, we have quickly grown a large network of interested students and experienced academics in the bioinformatics and broader biotech world, and we are keeping busy this 2022 to continue expanding our community. 

We host social and professional events, peer mentoring programs, and publish articles on emerging bioinformatics topics.  


The BINFSOC ‘double helix’ logo represents the bioinformatics field, at the intersection of biology and computing.

The fingerprint component represents 

  • Biology: in DNA ‘fingerprinting’, a common technique in bioinformatics analysis of organisms; and of course, human fingerprints themselves as encoded by epigenetics.
  • Innovation: the tech behind DNA fingerprinting, as well as the biometrics you might find on your phone when you log in using your finger tip.

The helix represents all life on earth: the DNA double helix molecule that composes all organisms.

The binary code represents the computer languages that bioinformaticians use to solve biological problems.  When read clockwise, starting with the top-aligned helix segment, the code produces a string of characters (ASCII encoding).  Can you work out what it is?