SC 2017 Semilab: Computational and Evolutionary Biology

by Igor Rogozin

An enormously large series of complex and chaotic events (including chromosome and whole genome duplications) have shaped the genomes (master plans of organisms encoded by DNA sequences) of animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and viruses. This course will address cutting edge approaches for the computational investigation of these events, with an eye toward completion of a computational biology project that may have developments in translational medicine (converting fundamental research to medical applications).

The course will present the fundamentals of evolutionary genomics, including basic properties of genomes, principles of comparative genomics, population genetics, and sequence-structure-function relationships. Experimental design and biological project integration will be an important theme of the course. Students will learn to statistically analyze and display their data and apply the skills they have acquired to complete the computational biology project.

Specific lectures on statistical analysis, sequence similarity searches, next generation sequencing and other specialized topics as per student interest will supplement those given in the earlier part of the course. The course will present applications of medical genomics, including cancer genomics, evolution of defense (immune) systems and analysis of brain developmental problems.

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