Quick facts and figures
What is the European Bioinformatics Institute?
- The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is Europe's home for big data in biology.
- EMBL-EBI was established in 1994 on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).
- We have over 540 members of staff, including PhD students, postdocs, senior scientists, software developers, scientific data curators, grants officers, user experience analysts and many others.
What is bioinformatics?
Bioinformatics is the application of computer technology to the storage, management and analysis of data from life science experiments. One of the biggest challenges in biology today is analysing the massive volumes of data created in “high-throughput” experiments, for example DNA sequencing. Bioinformatics makes it possible to extract meaningful information from a sea of data. It provides the means to pull together many different kinds of information so that we can begin piecing together the great puzzle of how biological systems work.
Some basics about bioinformatics
- The storage capacity of computing hardware doubles every 18 months but new biological data are doubling every 9 months. These rates are increasing.
- The cost of sequencing has fallen dramatically, and the major bottleneck in life science research today is data analysis.
- Users of Europe’s biological databases range from clinical specialists to environmental researchers and computer scientists.
- The EMBL-EBI website is visited by approximately half a million unique IP, or web addresses, every month. That could represent many more people because, just like phone numbers, an IP address might represent an individual or an entire organisation.
- The data storage capacity of EMBL-EBI is approximately 60 petabytes (PB, or 1x1015 bytes).
What is EMBL?
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is at the forefront of innovation in life sciences research, technology development and transfer, and provides outstanding training and services to the scientific community in its member states. This publicly funded, non-profit institute is housed at five sites in Europe whose expertise covers the whole spectrum of molecular biology.
EMBL research units: Heidelberg, Germany (EMBL headquarters); EMBL-EBI in Hinxton, UK; Grenoble, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Monterotondo, Italy.
EMBL member states: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Associate member states: Argentina and Australia.