What is a database?

So, we’ve introduced a number of bioinformatics databases but what actually defines a database, and why are they so useful? Databases cover every aspect of our lives, from online shopping through telecommunications to satellite navigation to bioinformatics.

Understanding the basics of what databases are and how they’re constructed is, in our data-intensive age, rapidly becoming an essential life skill, but our goal in this course is to enable you to have an informed conversation with a bioinformatician, nothing more.

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Much of what we cover here is derived from a series of online lectures by Jennifer Widom at Stanford University. We highly recommend that you watch the videos.