Bioinformatic Methods II

Use of available (mainly web-based) programs for analyzing biological data. This is Part 2 of an introductory course with a strong emphasis on hands-on methods. Some theory is introduced, but the main focus is on using extant bioinformatics tools to analyze data and generate biological hypotheses.

About The Course

Large-scale biology projects such as the sequencing of the human genome and gene expression surveys using RNA-seq, microarrays and other technologies have created a wealth of data for biologists. However, the challenge facing scientists is analyzing and even accessing these data to extract useful information pertaining to the system being studied. This course focuses on employing existing bioinformatic resources – mainly web-based programs and databases – to access the wealth of data to answer questions relevant to the average biologist, and is highly hands-on.

Topics covered include multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetics, gene expression data analysis, and protein interaction networks, in two separate parts.

The first part, Bioinformatic Methods I, dealt with databases, Blast, multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetics, selection analysis and metagenomics.

This, the second part, Bioinformatic Methods II, will cover motif searching, protein-protein interactions, structural bioinformatics, gene expression data analysis, and cis-element predictions.

This pair of courses is useful to any student considering graduate school in the biological sciences, as well as students considering molecular medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Did I need to take Bioinformatic Methods I in order to take this course?
    No, it is not required that you have Bioinformatic Methods I. That course will be available (archived) for you to visit and refresh your memory if need be.

  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, and the time to perform the labs presented here.

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

    You'll be exposed to some interesting data sets and tools for exploring biological data from the kilometer to nanometer scales.

Recommended Background

Some knowledge of molecular biology is recommended, say a second year university introductory course on this subject.