This series is complete with stage 1 to 3 constructed in the rough layout listed below. Learn from assignments/quizzes, our interactive discussion board, and weekly webinars. By the end of this course series, you will have sufficient knowledge of bioinformatics and its application on a practical scale.
Natasha is a current Ph.D. student studying Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. In addition to her interest in chemical engineering, she has dabbled in biomolecular engineering and computer science. During her college experience, she was a researcher in a plant genomics and genetic engineering laboratory with a big component of her research involving bioinformatics. Her research interests currently lie in bioengineering and drug discovery/drug delivery. She can't wait to teach you the basics of bioinformatics! Her publication will be released soon!
Bioinformatics is commonly defined as computational molecular biology. In other words, bioinformatics makes use of technology to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and proteins. Before getting to the fundamentals of bioinformatics, this course will begin with a general overview of how genetic information is encoded and used by cells. The course will then transition to exploring some of the common databases used when performing biological research. Specific emphasis will be put on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database. Once students learn to use these databases, they will look at an application of bioinformatics. Students will learn what bioengineering is and how researchers can manipulate the genome of an organism in the laboratory.
By the end of the course, students will be able to describe the general structures of DNA and RNA and the central dogma of molecular biology. The student will also be able to perform searches on NCBI and will be familiar with common analysis tools on NCBI. The student will understand what bioengineering is and the methods by which it is done in the laboratory.
Week 1- The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology
Module 1.1: DNA and RNA Basics
Module 1.2: DNA Replication
Module 1.3: Transcription
Module 1.4: Translation
Week 2- Introduction to Bioinformatics
Module 2.1: What is Bioinformatics?
Module 2.2: Genomics versus Transcriptomics versus Proteomics
Module 2.4: Sequencing
Module 2.5: Alignment
Week 3- Bioinformatics Databases
Module 3.1: Introduction to Bioinformatics Databases
Module 3.2: NCBI Entrez Search
Module 3.3: NCBI Protein Visualizer
Module 3.4: NCBI BLAST
Week 4- Bioengineering Applications
Module 4.1: What is Genetic Engineering?
Module 4.2: CRISPR-Cas9
Module 4.3: Genetic Engineering Applications
A virus is DNA or RNA enclosed in a protein coat. We can use online bioinformatics databases to analyze the sequence of a virus’s DNA, RNA, or protein coat. For this case study, students will use the NCBI database to analyze sequences of COVID-19, otherwise known as SARS-CoV-2. Students will also use the database to access information about additional sequences identified in the case study. Students will then determine how the
sequence of COVID-19 compares to the other specified sequences by using a bioinformatics tool called the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST). From this exercise, students will learn how bioinformatics databases can be used to help elucidate
key information about a virus. For example, we will be using bioinformatics to help provide us with clues on how a virus becomes more infectious.
To begin, students will be given a recorded video lecture and written notes on the fundamentals of viruses. Then, students will be given a worksheet with questions to guide
them through the case study. Students will be given a week to respond to these questions.