Biology has moved from a bench-based discipline to a bioinformational science in modern times but application of computational and analytical methods of informatics in it is still a problem for many researchers and students of biology. We suggest to integrate cost effective and practical combination of the real and the virtual laboratories into the undergraduate biological science curriculum. This laboratory work illustrates passive and active electrical properties of plant cell membranes while introducing basic principles of electrophysiological recording, data acquisition and analysis. As the object for investigation in this laboratory work large cells of starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) were used. The simple program for experiment control and express visualization of recorded data was developed. Experiment proposed in this paper is easy implemented with a minimum of laboratory equipment, materials and gives an experience of computerized biological experiment.
The aim of this work is to present extended informatics paradigm (EIP). This paradigm expands concept of informatics from traditional information and communication technologies (ICT) to a wide use of informational thinking, databases and related technologies in biology and psychology. The essential difference of EIP is an especial attention to nature and purpose of information in organized biological and/or psychological systems. Information as a phenomenon appeared on the Earth 3-4 billion years ago, when the life originated. Informatics paradigm considers the physical and chemical transformations of energy and matter as flows that are controlled, or as the signals for purposive informational control programs. Brain as product of biological evolution accomplishes a quick information processing, thinking and psychical activity. The information is born in control systems of organized systems. The organized systems are represented as informational closed-loop coding-decoding structures. Therefore, the scope of bioinformatics which is generally taught as a skill to deal with biological data bases should be extended, as well as the subject of informational psychology.