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Module

BIO8046 : Applied Bioinformatics

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Martin Edwards
  • Lecturer: Dr Jon Marles-Wright, Dr James Stach
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

Module introduces the basic concepts of bioinformatics for the study of DNA and proteins. The module is devised such that students from a range of backgrounds can understand the theory and practice of applying computer-based analysis to the field of molecular biology. The module is hands-on and will train as well as educate the students. The module is divided into lectures and workshops to ensure that lecture information is transferred to practical teaching. The students will become competent in the use of molecular biology databases hosting nucleic acid and protein sequence information and bioinformatics tools including those aimed at investigating: sequence similarity, sequence analysis, protein structure, phylogeny, and genome browsing. The series of workshops will present students with actual problem solving exercises ensuring that students are able to apply what they learn, particularly during their research projects.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures/Workshops

An introduction to bioinformatics (1)
Sequence prediction and genome browsing (1)
Sequence databases (2)
Sequence similarity (2)
Sequence analysis (2)
Structural prediction (2)

Tutorials and practice examples will be delivered through Canvas.

Practical workshops (5)

As above - aligned with lectures. Each workshop will be used to give students data to analyse using the different bioinformatics tools that they have been introduced to. Students will submit their results at the end of each session for feedback.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials20:301:00Non synch Online via Canvas - Module introduction and recap. Familiarise yourself with the topics
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Online via Canvas - A combination of short recordings of lecture material and text published on VLE
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion135:0035:00Poster (100%) - students need to perform extended analysis to generate data for a scientific poster
Guided Independent StudySkills practice102:0020:00Students are encouraged to refine the skills practiced in the workshops and develop these
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops82:0016:00SynchOnline via Teams - Discussion of theory provided in the lecture material and introduce the task
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study102:0020:00N/A
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module aims to provide both theory and practice in bioinformatics. This is achieved using the lecture/workshop model; students are given theory and demonstrations, guided to online tutorials and practice, and then set problems to work through in a workshop. The module will make strong use of online materials, such that students can attempt problems prior to lectures and workshops, giving the students an opportunity to direct the teaching to their needs.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M100Students will apply knowledge gained from the training workshops to a biological challenge closely aligned to contributors research.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The practical components are designed such that students will be solving problems relevant to molecular biology. This will provide them with the skills required to apply bioinformatics to their research. The assessments will ensure that the students are fully able to conduct basic bioinformatics to the level required for postgraduate research.

Students will be provided with verbal formative feedback during the workshop/breakout sessions so they can make immediate corrections to analyses and improve practice.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 2 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists

Timetable