Bioinformatics is a very young field of research. Its growth started in earnest after the publication of human genome, when many scientists saw immense medical value of such vast genetic data and decided to explore further. Thirteen years passed since then and the same message reached all parts of the world. Therefore checking how many people from around the globe are interested in bioinformatics today is possibly an indication of progress they are making in education and economic matters.
Above chart shows the number of hits we got from different countries during the first week of May. We get amazed every time we look at such charts.
Few observations -
1. Even though Africa has 1 billion people, we rarely get any hit from the entire continent except from South Africa. That is quite unbelievable. Isn’t there any researcher in the entire continent thinking about diseases, human genome, alignments, algorithms, etc.?
At first we wondered why we were spared by Nigerian princes trying to get millions of dollars out of the country, but later learned that Nigerian scams were invented in Iowa, not Nigeria.
2. Few blind spots in Asia, Europe and South America are -
Asia: Afganistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Iraq, Mayanmar.
South America: Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador.
Among those, Ukraine is the most puzzling, because we did not get a single stray hit from there over the last five months. Only Afghanistan in entire Eurasia matched that performance. Is Ukraine’s miss the fault of geo-tracking or is the country turning into Afghanistan?
3. China made amazing progress and is consistently at third or fourth place every month. That is quite a feat, because we do not remember seeing any genomics paper from China until BGI published rice genome during the middle of last decade.
4. Top ten countries - USA, UK, Germany, Canada, China, Japan, India, France, Australia, Brazil. Number of hits from USA is usually equal to the sum total of the remaining nine.