Genomics and proteomics have not been the only big-ticket investments in the past few decades. Related fields have sprung up, such as combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening, where large sets of chemically similar compounds and reagents are used simultaneously to produce thousands of products, which are then screened rapidly (usually via robot) to identify specific chemical and biological properties. While these techniques have swept the industry, their commercial promise remains to be seen.
The interface between chemistry and biology has been blurring. Traditionally, chemistry has been a discrete function, almost isolated from the rest of the drug-discovery process. Increased use of structure-guided design has greatly impacted chemical design and subsequent screening efforts and has increased the need for good communication and integration between chemistry and biology departments within large organizations. Subdisciplines have evolved within the basic chemistry umbrella, such as "chemical informatics'' or cheminformatics. As with bioinformatics, the field of chemical informatics deals with the computer analysis of large amounts of chemical data.
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