Paper: “Undergraduate Bioinformatics Workshops Provide Perceived Skills”

Just a quick post here.  I found this paper in JMBE when I was browsing in a special connection of ethics in biology.  This was in the same volume of the journal and it struck me as something some people might find interesting.  It is an article about undergraduate bioinformatics training: Undergraduate Bioinformatics Workshops Provide Perceived Skills  by Robin Herlands Cresiski. Abstract is below.

Bioinformatics is becoming an important part of undergraduate curriculum, but expertise and well-evaluated teaching materials may not be available on every campus. Here, a guest speaker was utilized to introduce bioinformatics and web-available exercises were adapted for student investigation. Students used web-based nucleotide comparison tools to examine the medical and evolutionary relevance of a unidentified genetic sequence. Based on pre- and post-workshop surveys, there were significant gains in the students understanding of bioinformatics, as well as their perceived skills in using bioinformatics tools. The relevance of bioinformatics to a student’s career seemed dependent on career aspirations.

I note – we are going to be expanding our “Education” section here to include teaching and course material for topics related to microbiology of the built environment.  So I guess – stay tuned for more.  If any readers want to write about educational activities or have pointers to things to write about, please post comments and/or let us know in some way.

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.