Introduction to Bioinformatics

AKA When Silicon Meets Carbon

(A New Class at Southwestern College)

This class uses current genomic and proteomic databases to look at the basics of Life and Quasi-Life from the point of view of a gene. The class emphasizes finding and comparing information about a gene by exploring its link to a disease, its DNA structure on a chromosome, its RNA structure during transcription, its protein structure, its occurrence in diverse organisms and what this teaches us about evolution. The class consists of a sequence of topics and an exercise for each of these topics. The instructor follows the topic through with a gene (or a protein, or an allele, etc) and then the students replicate that effort with a particular gene (or protein, or …) of their choice.

Some Anticipated Topics are—
    Database Search Basics
    Homologous Genes—Homo sapiens and other Species
    SNPs, Haplotypes, and Population Genetics
    Protein Structures and Domains
    Disease Markers
    Genomic Landscape of Chromosomes
    Transcription, Translation, and Gene Expression
    Sense and Anti-Sense Genomic Codings
    Evolution of Proteins
    Algorithms for Sequence Analysis

Pretopics
   Understanding Statistics and Sequence Comparison Algorithms
   Central Dogma of Biology

This class will start in Spring 2007 as an independent study class. The class will meet for 2 hours per week in the late afternoon or evening. Anticipated homework includes four hours of computer based work per week. The more you know about the central dogma of biology, statistics, and data processing--the better. However there will be several precursor lessons for both the math deficient and those with a limited background in biology. This course will be helpful to teachers seeking to incorporate computer based exercises into their biology or math lessons.

For more information email Lukas Buehler or go to the Introduction to Bioinformatics Webpage.
To find out if this class will appeal to you watch the Genome Map Viewer movie.