15:470 Bioinformatics [Ardelli]

Course Description: The exponential increase in sequenced genomes has fuelled a drive to develop technologies and computational methods to use DNA sequence data to study biological problems at higher levels of complexity. Bioinformatics is designed to provide students with the tools for studying the genomic dimension of biology. The course will examine the major features of the completely sequenced genomes in prokaryotes, eukaryotes and organelles. Experimental and bioinformatic tools will be discussed with particular emphasis on molecular biology techniques (DNA sequencing, ESTs, SAGE, DNA microarrays), biological databases (nucleotide, proteome, genome, transcriptome, metabolome) and computational methods (sequence alignment, database searching, sequence assembly, linguistic analysis, secondary structure prediction). Fundamental cutting edge topics such as the evolution of genome size, base compositional constraints, the structure and origin of organisms at the molecular level and recent advances in molecular evolution and molecular phylogenetics will be evaluated.