In this course, students will learn to use bioinformatics tools and apply them in a project-based approach to explore the human genome. Most importantly, students will have the opportunity to synthesize information from their various classes, social interactions, and media and re-evaluate it through the lens of bioinformatics to enhance their own scientific knowledge. No prior knowledge of bioinformatics is necessary.
Students will actively and collaboratively explore the effective use of bioinformatic tools. After developing the skills to effectively utilize the bioinformatics tool set, students will complete a project using that tool set. They may choose, for example, to study the genomics (genes) and/or proteomics (proteins) of a specific disease, describe its effects on the body, and discuss potential effective treatment methods involving gene therapy or proteomics. Students may also choose to study the historical evolution of a physiologically important gene and its protein and construct a comparative analysis across species. Finally, students may choose to use their newly acquired skills to explain the diversity in human response to certain stimuli (example, why some people like certain flavors and others do not). The students will have the opportunity to present their findings in the class and/or to the QU community.