14 months ago
Only 2 points to this : Think of a lone guy, like me sitting alone in a office, doing work which few people understand in the lab. Biostar is fantastic platform, to give and take the thoughts/ideas/solutions and problems and helping you out when you really need someone around.
Regarding killing bioinformatics core, I have a feeling, Bioinformaticians now have a small pressure to do good research/analysis as at websites like Biostar, the papers can be exposed out for false/bad analysis. When we have journal clubs here in our lab, for some people, few graphs don't make sense, and some are not convinced with the analysis. People can now approach the forums, and ask for help, that is this really possible??
Biostars also provides a platform for discussing tools, methodologies and ideas, which a Bioinformatics core unit wont't discuss on a regular basis with other core facility. Here everything is global and people now have the power to discuss, analyse, asses the problems, provide solutions which can be readily cross-verified by the other experts in the field, else all work goes hidden, produced by few, supervised by some and analysed by others. If one is doing a good work, he/she really wants to be sure, if that's significant.
Asking experts globally is better than being in a state of state of confusion for long time or asking few people in a core facility. Also, with Biostars, I think most of the questions are asked by the people who are already doing computational studies or somehow are related to computers, having previous experience etc., there would quite a few posts, where pure wet lab experimentalists are asking core bioinformatics questions except how to install this software, path problems etc. implying the Bionformatics core units, are still in business!!
In lets say 10 years, most of work will go high-throughput, which will require the biologists to learn basic programming skills, running data analysis pipelines, generating statistical graphs by themselves, at that point Biostars will be super boon for them and the core teams would be involved either in sophisticated tool development, guiding people or managing projects.
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From the stats, just imagine if atleast 50% of the content created above enlightened few of us, derived to do better analysis and develop better tools, forced people to think hard and finally a discussion platform, where people can talk about science and using computation for solving some of the most challenging aspects, without paying any fees, I would say its awesome.