CSC8308 : e-science for Bioinformatics

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Today's bioinformatician has to operate in a global, distributed environment, prosecuting their science by electronic means (hence, e-Science). This module introduces the technologies that support e-Science.

e-Science can be defined as being about global collaboration in key areas of science and about the next generation of infrastructure that will support this new way of working. e-Science promises to be particularly important to biology and bioinformatics as many bioinformatics resources such as databases and analytical tools are remotely situated and accessed over computer networks. This module introduces you to Grid and Web service technology and shows how complex bioinformatics applications can be built from distributed resources using workflow technology. The module draws heavily on experiences of, and technology developed by, the e-Science project myGrid (

Outline Of Syllabus

Distributed Bioinformatics Resources
Internet techology and web services; The semantic web
Workflows, workflow enactment and associated technology
The concept of the Grid and Web services
An introduction to distributed queries and integration of distributed bioinformatics data

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical81:008:00Practicals
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyProject work161:0016:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study421:0042:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

Tutorials will be used to emphasise the learning material and its application to the solution of problems and exercises set as coursework, during which students will analyse problems as individuals and in teams.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M60Programming code (16 hours)
Practical/lab report1M40Max 1,000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed practicals will test the students ability to use Java based technology for the provision and use of networked services and their ability to work as a team.

Reading Lists