TypeScript for Bioinformatics


Using TypeScript for bioinformatics enables you to develop bioinformatics tools and applications for analyzing biological data efficiently. In this guide, we'll introduce TypeScript for bioinformatics and provide a simple example using TypeScript to parse and analyze sequences in the FASTA file format, which is commonly used in bioinformatics.


Before you begin, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  • Node.js: You can download it from https://nodejs.org/
  • TypeScript: Install it globally with npm install -g typescript
  • Visual Studio Code (or your preferred code editor)

Getting Started with TypeScript for Bioinformatics

Let's create a basic example of a TypeScript application to parse and analyze sequences in the FASTA file format.

Step 1: Set Up Your Project

Create a new directory for your project and navigate to it in your terminal:

mkdir bioinformatics-app
cd bioinformatics-app

Step 2: Initialize a Node.js Project

Initialize a Node.js project and answer the prompts. You can use the default settings for most prompts:

npm init

Step 3: Install Dependencies

Install the required dependencies, including TypeScript:

npm install typescript --save

Step 4: Create TypeScript Configuration

Create a TypeScript configuration file (tsconfig.json) in your project directory:

"compilerOptions": {
"target": "ES6",
"outDir": "./dist",
"rootDir": "./src"

Step 5: Create TypeScript Code

Create a TypeScript file (app.ts) for your bioinformatics application:

// src/app.ts
import * as fs from 'fs';
// Function to parse a FASTA file
function parseFasta(fasta: string) {
const sequences: string[] = [];
const lines = fasta.split('\n');
let currentSequence = '';
for (const line of lines) {
if (line.startsWith('>')) {
if (currentSequence) {
currentSequence = '';
} else {
currentSequence += line.trim();
if (currentSequence) {
return sequences;
const fastaData = fs.readFileSync('sample.fasta', 'utf8');
const sequences = parseFasta(fastaData);
console.log('Sequences in the FASTA file:');

Step 6: Create a FASTA File

Create a sample FASTA file (sample.fasta) with sequences for testing your application. You can use a text editor to create this file.

Step 7: Compile and Run Your TypeScript Code

Compile your TypeScript code using the TypeScript compiler and execute it to parse the FASTA file:

node dist/app.js


This basic example demonstrates how to use TypeScript to create a bioinformatics tool for parsing sequences in the FASTA file format. In real bioinformatics applications, you can perform complex analyses, implement algorithms, and work with various biological data formats. TypeScript helps ensure your code is maintainable and well-structured as your bioinformatics tools become more sophisticated.