Chapter: Basic Concept of Biotechnology - Computer Applications and Biostatistics

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Biostatistics

Statistics is a combination of logic and mathematics. Biostatistics is the science, which utilizes mathematical logic to the analysis and interpretation of the biological information and observations.

Biostatistics

Statistics is a combination of logic and mathematics. Biostatistics is the science, which utilizes mathematical logic to the analysis and interpretation of the biological information and observations. Unlike the other scientific disciplines, Statistics is not a body of substantive knowledge, but only a body of methods of obtaining knowledge. It deals with only numerical data. Information supported by the numerical facts is precise and hence statistical information is more meaningful and measurable than the non-measurable information. For example, the statement “There is 90% chance of occurring of an event” is more accurate than the statement “There is a very good chance of occurring of the event”. In the ordinary sense the term 'Statistics' is used for numerical figures or statistical data, whereas in the wider sense the term refers to various statistical methods. Statistics is as old as human society itself. Its origin can be traced back to pre-Christian era. The Pharos (rulers of ancient Egypt) and Hebrews (ancient Palestinians) used to keep a regular record of manpower and material strengths for their military and fiscal (taxation) purposes. Therefore statistics is called the "Science of the Kings". The word 'Statistics' is derived from the (Latin) word “States'” indicating the practice of data gathering by the State/Rulers. The development of the Statistics is also helped by the gamblers of the seventeenth century. The laws of the chance are very essential to the gamblers to win the games and hence they invented batter methods to find out the probabilities.

Statistical methods are important to draw valid conclusions from the obtained data. This chapter provides background information related to fundamental methods and techniques in biostatistics to analyze and interpret their study data and to critically interpret published literature. Acquiring such skills currently forms an integral part of researcher/students training. It has been commonly seen that students have an inherent apprehension and prefer staying away from biostatistics. Statistics implies both, data and statistical methods. Statistics without scientific application has no roots. Thus, statistics may be defined as the discipline concerned with the treatment of numerical data derived from group of individuals. These individuals may be human beings, animals, or other organisms. Biostatistics is a branch of statistics applied to biological. Biostatistics covers applications and contributions not only from health, medicines and, nutrition but also from fields such as genetics, biology, epidemiology, and many others. Biostatistics mainly consists of various steps like generation of hypothesis, collection of data, and application of statistical analysis. To begin with, readers should know about the data obtained during the experiment, its distribution, and its analysis to draw a valid conclusion from the experiment. Statistical method has two major branches mainly descriptive and inferential. Descriptive statistics explain the distribution of population measurements by providing types of data, estimates of central tendency (mean, mode and median), and measures of variability (standard deviation, correlation coefficient), whereas inferential statistics is used to express the level of certainty about estimates and includes hypothesis testing, standard error of mean and confidence interval.

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