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The impact of information technology in biological and military sciences

Updated: May 10, 2020

Computer and internet play the most conspicuous roles in all aspects of human life. Computer-related technologies have a strong impact on the world. This has attracted many students and professionals to the field of information technology. There are thousands of web sites and web hosting opportunities available which are ever-growing. Many information technologies, from the earliest computers to email and the Internet, have been developed for scientific applications. Biology is at the core of informational science, based on the information embedded in the genetic code. IT is essential to store, manage, and decipher the mass of information produced in work in these areas. IT plays the following roles in biology: IT-aided instruments, such as gene sequencers, DNA microarrays, and microscopes, etc.; Large shared, Internet-connected databases; Data analysis methods, used in assembling and searching gene sequences; Imaging and visualization, such as MRI; Modelling and simulation are used to model protein folding and to help understand complex biological systems such as cells, tissues, organisms, and populations. In a sense, biology has become driven by the information contained in the genetic code, and information technology is critical in generating and managing this information. The growth in the importance of information technology is exemplified by the growth of several new interdisciplinary subfields of biology. One is “bioinformatics,” defined as the application of computers, databases, and computational methods to the management and analysis of biologic information. The human genome project and genome sequencing projects in other organisms, together with new technologies that analyse gene expression patterns, have created vast amounts of data. Bioinformatics has become essential for almost every aspect of data management in modern biology. Another subfield is “computational biology,” which uses mathematical and computational approaches, such as mathematical modelling and computational simulation techniques, to address theoretical and experimental questions in biology.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Information warfare (IW) is one of the new concepts receiving a great deal of attention. There is no doubt IW is a concept the modern military officer should be familiar with, for advancements in computer technology have significant potential to dramatically change the face of military command and control. Governments spend an untold amount of money establishing agencies to gather and maintain information on potential threats to their security. Computer hackers have been tried, convicted and sent to prison because they conspired to provide access to proprietary information. The absence of critical information can spell the difference between success or failure in the modern political or military arena. Information warfare is an orchestrated effort to achieve victory by subverting or neutralizing an enemy command and control (C2) system while protecting the use of C2 systems to coordinate the actions of friendly forces. A successful IW campaign seizes initiative from an enemy commander; the IW campaign allows allied forces to operate at a much higher tempo than an enemy can react to. Most modern political and military C2 systems are based on high-speed communications and computers. It follows that this information infrastructure, also known as an "infosphere", will be the arena in which information warfare is waged. Any system or person who participates in the C2 process will be a potential target in an IW campaign. An IW campaign will focus against the enemy infosphere. It will be necessary to isolate, identify and analyse each element of an enemy infosphere in order to determine portions which can affect the OODA loop's size (OODA stands for the steps in a commander's decision making cycle – Observe, Orient, Decide and Act). Once these areas of the enemy infosphere are identified, an attack against critical nodes would deny access to information, destroy the information, or render it useless to the adversary forces. Even more damaging, information warriors could alter data in a network, causing the adversary to use false information in his decision-making process and follow a game plan of the friendly commander's design. The software for this consists of programs designed to collect information on, inhibit, alter, deny the use of, or destroy the enemy infosphere. This software would be the primary soldier in pure information warfare. One example of a software asset is called a KNOWBOT. This could serve as a virtual software spy. Other examples of software warfighting assets have exotic, computer hacker names: "demons", "sniffers", "viruses", "Trojan horses", "worms" or "logic bombs".

#technology #computer #infotech #biowar #infowar #military #cybersecurity

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