Swabs to Genomes: Week 10 (Review paper, debrief, cost analysis)

Week 10 was the last week of class (that’s a quarter system for all semester-types out there).  In the previous class the students got together in groups and produced “consensus” genome announcements for their groups.   In the intervening week, Ashley and I produced a “consensus consensus” Genome Announcement, taking pieces from the various groups.    Then we went through this paper, line by line, with the entire class in order to talk about the process of scientific writing, and the differences between the student drafts and the one we intended to submit for publication.  We had also made a table containing all the relevant data for the paper that we cross-checked with the students.

Next we performed a financial calculation with the help of the class.   We tried to figure out the cost of each class session, having the students research the cost of various materials and procedures and then inputting that into a spreadsheet that Ashley had created.  This was a pretty interesting exercise, both for them and for us!  I won’t say that our numbers are 100% accurate, but taking into account everything we could think of we arrived at $3,700 for the class, which with 14 students worked out to be about ~$270 per student.  Obviously the per student cost would go down with more students because some of the costs are set (e.g. the sequencing run).

Finally, we discussed what worked and didn’t work about the class, recommendations for the future etc.   That, along with our own thoughts as well as all the class materials will be posted soon!


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David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter