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Steven Frank profile image
Steven Frank profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 59 reviews
  • 57 completed
3 years, 8 months ago
This second installment of the six-part bioinformatics series focuses on sequencing. Gene and protein sequences are the axis around which all of biology turns, and the scale of the Human Genome Project give... This second installment of the six-part bioinformatics series focuses on sequencing. Gene and protein sequences are the axis around which all of biology turns, and the scale of the Human Genome Project gives a sense of how central a role computational analysis plays. What this course covers is well captured by the "exploding newspaper problem" -- how do you reconstruct the news from a newspaper that's been blown to smithereens? How can you reconstruct a huge DNA molecule from the short segments that can be generated and read? These are problems in graph theory, and this course provides a great introduction to what might otherwise seem esoteric and abstract by grounding theory in the practicalities of biology. As in all courses in this series, there's a "biologist" track and a "hacker" track, and for the latter, the programming assignments can be considerably more challenging than those in Bioinformatics I. But they're fun -- it's very cool to see how graph theory works a kind of magic on problems whose scale makes them seem hopeless. Once again, the interactive textbook is excellent and the lectures, while worthwhile, are not essential. When most people think of bioinformatics, they probably think of gene sequencing, and this course is a great hands-on intro to the topic.
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