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Encyclopedia > Biostatistics

Biostatistics or biometry is the application of statistics to a wide range of topics in biology. It has particular applications to medicine and to agriculture. A graph of a normal bell curve showing statistics used in educational assessment and comparing various grading methods. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... medicines, see Medication. ...

Note on terminology: Although the terms "biostatistics" and "biometry" are sometimes used interchangeably, "biometry" is more often used of biological or agricultural applications and "biostatistics" of medical applications. In older sources "biometrics" is used as a synonym for "biometry", but this term has now been largely usurped by the information technology industry. Synonyms (in ancient Greek, συν (syn) = plus and όνομα (onoma) = name) are different words with similar or identical meanings. ... Information and communication technology spending in 2005 Information technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. ...


Biostatistics and the history of biological thought

Biostatistical reasoning and modeling were critical in formation of the foundation theories of modern biology. In the early 1900s, after the rediscovery of Mendel's work, the conceptual gaps in understanding between genetics and evolutionary Darwinism led to vigorous debate between biometricians such as Walter Weldon and Karl Pearson and Mendelians such as Charles Davenport and William Bateson. By the 1930s statisticians and models built on statistical reasoning had helped to resolve these differences and to produce the Neo-Darwinian Modern evolutionary synthesis. // Public flight demonstration of an airplane by Alberto Santos-Dumont in Paris, November 12, 1906. ... Mendel is the last name of Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), often called the father of Genetics. ... DNA, the molecular basis for inheritance. ... Charles Darwin Darwinism is a term for the underlying theory in those ideas of Charles Darwin concerning evolution and natural selection. ... Walter Frank Raphael Weldon (15 March 1860 — 13 April 1906) was an English evolutionary zoologist and biometrician. ... Karl Pearson FRS (March 27, 1857 – April 27, 1936) established the discipline of mathematical statistics. ... Charles Benedict Davenport (June 1, 1866 — February 18, 1944) was a prominent American biologist and eugenicist. ... William Bateson (August 8, 1861—February 8, 1926) was a British geneticist. ... Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

The leading figures in the establishment of this synthesis all relied on statistics and developed its use in biology.

These individuals and the work of other biostatisticians, mathematical biologists, and statistically inclined geneticists helped bring together evolutionary biology and genetics into a consistent, coherent whole that could begin to be quantitatively modeled. Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher, FRS (17 February 1890 – 29 July 1962) was a British statistician, evolutionary biologist, and geneticist. ... The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection is a book by Ronald Fisher. ... This article should be merged and redirected to Sewall Wright. ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... John Burdon Sanderson Haldane (November 5, 1892 – December 1, 1964), who normally used J.B.S. as a first name, was a British geneticist and evolutionary biologist. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... DNA, the molecular basis for inheritance. ...

In parallel to this overall development, the pioneering work of D'Arcy Thompson in On Growth and Form also helped to add quantitative discipline to biological study. DArcy Wentworth Thompson (May 2, 1860- June 21, 1948) was a biologist and mathematician and the author of the 1917 book, On Growth and Form, an influential work of striking originality. ...

Despite the fundamental importance and frequent necessity of statistical reasoning, there is nonetheless a tendency of biologists to distrust or deprecate results which are not qualitatively apparent. One anecdote describes Thomas Hunt Morgan banning the Frieden calculator from his department at Caltech, saying "Well, I am like a guy who is prospecting for gold along the banks of the Sacramento River in 1849. With a little intelligence, I can reach down and pick up big nuggets of gold. And as long as I can do that, I'm not going to let any people in my department waste scarce resources in placer mining."[1] Educators are now adjusting their curricula to focus on more quantitative concepts and tools.[2] Thomas Hunt Morgan (September 25, 1866 – December 4, 1945) was an American geneticist and embryologist. ... California Institute of Technology The California Institute of Technology (commonly known as Caltech) is a private, coeducational university located in Pasadena, California, in the United States. ...

Education and Training Programs

Almost all educational programmes in biostatistics are at postgraduate level. They are most often found in schools of public health, affiliated with schools of medicine, forestry, or agriculture or as a focus of application in departments of statistics. In the United States, several universities have dedicated biostatistics departments; many other top-tier universities integrate Biostatistics faculty into Statistics (or other) departments. Quaternary education or postgraduate education is the fourth-stage educational level which follows the completion of an undergraduate degree at a college or university. ...

Many universities that deal with ecological research have a biostatistics course that introduces concepts such as hypothesis testing for univariate and sometimes multivariate data sets with one, two, or more samples. Often this is combined or followed with some kind of experimental design course. One may be faced with the problem of making a definite decision with respect to an uncertain hypothesis which is known only through its observable consequences. ... A data set (or dataset) is a collection of data, usually presented in tabular form. ...

Applications of biostatistics

Statistical methods are beginning to be integrated into medical informatics, public health informatics, and bioinformatics Public health is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. ... Epidemiology is the study of factors affecting the health and illness of populations, and serves as the foundation and logic of interventions made in the interest of public health and preventive medicine. ... The updated USDA food pyramid, published in 2005, is a general nutrition guide for recommended food consumption. ... Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, including quality of life, that are determined by physical, chemical, biological, social, and psychosocial factors in the natural environment. ... In health care, including medicine, a clinical trial (synonyms: clinical studies, research protocols, medical research) is the application of the scientific method to human health. ... medicines, see Medication. ... Genomics is the study of an organisms entire genome. ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the five evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, migration and nonrandom mating. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Individuals in the mollusk species Donax variabilis show diverse coloration and patterning in their phenotypes. ... For a non-technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to Genetics. ... An allele is any one of a number of alternative forms of the same gene occupying a given locus (position) on a chromosome. ... A karyotype of a human male, showing 46 chromosomes including XY sex chromosomes. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The term sequence analysis in biology implies subjecting a DNA or peptide sequence to sequence alignment, sequence databases, repeated sequence searches, or other bioinformatics methods on a computer. ... Electronic patient chart of a HIS Medical Informatics is the name given to the discipline that exists at the intersection of information technology and medicine. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Health informatics. ... Map of the human X chromosome (from the NCBI website). ...

Related Fields

Biostatistics draws quantitative methods from fields such as:

A graph of a normal bell curve showing statistics used in educational assessment and comparing various grading methods. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Operations management. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ...

See also

Map of the human X chromosome (from the NCBI website). ... This article or section contains inappropriate citations. ... Foundations De Materia Medica Author: Pedanius Dioscorides Publication data: De Materia Medica, 50–70 Online version: Online version of first volume Description: This five-volume work was a precursor to all modern pharmacopeias. ...

External links


  • Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Statistics in Medicine
  • The International Journal of Biostatistics
  • Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics
  • Biostatistics
  • Biometrics
  • Biometrika
  • Biometrical Journal

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