About this Course
4.7
619 ratings
140 reviews
Large-scale biology projects such as the sequencing of the human genome and gene expression surveys using RNA-seq, microarrays and other technologies have created a wealth of data for biologists. However, the challenge facing scientists is analyzing and even accessing these data to extract useful information pertaining to the system being studied. This course focuses on employing existing bioinformatic resources – mainly web-based programs and databases – to access the wealth of data to answer questions relevant to the average biologist, and is highly hands-on. Topics covered include multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetics, gene expression data analysis, and protein interaction networks, in two separate parts. The first part, Bioinformatic Methods I (this one), deals with databases, Blast, multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetics, selection analysis and metagenomics. This, the second part, Bioinformatic Methods II, covers motif searching, protein-protein interactions, structural bioinformatics, gene expression data analysis, and cis-element predictions. This pair of courses is useful to any student considering graduate school in the biological sciences, as well as students considering molecular medicine. Both provide an overview of the many different bioinformatic tools that are out there. These courses are based on one taught at the University of Toronto to upper-level undergraduates who have some understanding of basic molecular biology. If you're not familiar with this, something like https://learn.saylor.org/course/bio101 might be helpful. No programming is required for this course....
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Clock

Suggested: 12-18 hours videos and labs

Approx. 12 hours to complete
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English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

Genetic AnalysisBioinformatics AnalysisEvolutionComparative Genomics
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 12-18 hours videos and labs

Approx. 12 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

NCBI/Blast I

In this module we'll be exploring the amazing resources available at NCBI, the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, run by the National Library of Medicine in the USA. We'll also be doing a Blast search to find similar sequences in the enormous NR sequence database. We can use similar sequences to infer homology, which is the primary predictor of gene or protein function. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 52 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Lecture25m
Lab Discussion24m
Summarym
Reading4 readings
Acknowledgements10m
Course Logistics10m
Lecture Materials10m
Lab 1 -- Exploring NCBI30m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Lab 1 Quiz6m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Blast II/Comparative Genomics

In this module we'll continue exploring the incredible resources available at NCBI, the National Centre for Biotechnology Information. We will be performing several different kinds of Blast searches: BlastP, PSI-Blast, and Translated Blast. We can use similar sequences identified by such methods to infer homology, which is the primary predictor of gene or protein function. We'll also be comparing parts of the genomes of a couple of different species, to see how similar they are....
Reading
4 videos (Total 58 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Lecture32m
Lab Discussion23m
Summarym
Reading2 readings
Lecture Materials10m
Lab 2 -- Advanced Blast and Comparative Genomics30m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Lab 2 Quiz6m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Multiple Sequence Alignments

In this module we'll be doing multiple sequence alignments with Clustal (as implemented in MEGA), DiAlign, and MAFFT. Multiple sequences alignments can tell you where in a sequence the conserved and variable regions are, which is important for understanding the biology of the sequences under investigation. It also has practical applications, such as being able to design PCR primers that will amplify sequences from a number of different species, for example....
Reading
4 videos (Total 42 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Lecture23m
Lab Discussion16m
Summarym
Reading2 readings
Lecture Materials10m
Lab 3 -- Multiple Sequence Alignment30m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Lab 3 Quiz6m

4

Section
Clock
10 minutes to complete

Review: NCBI/Blast I, Blast II/Comparative Genetics, and Multiple Sequence Alignments

...
Reading
1 quiz
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz: Modules 1-310m
4.7
Direction Signs

18%

started a new career after completing these courses
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83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

25%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By EDApr 27th 2017

Great course. All lectures provide a biological context for the tools you learn in the labs. The labs themselves provide a great introduction to the many tools available for bioinformatic analysis.

By RGNov 5th 2017

I enjoyed doing the course. It is exciting to see how much one can learn from a few gene or protein sequences. Thank you for making the course understandable to a beginner in bioinformatics!

Instructor

Nicholas James Provart

Professor
Cell & Systems Biology

About University of Toronto

Established in 1827, the University of Toronto has one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in depth and breadth on any other Canadian campus. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.