Research Immersion Laboratory in Genomic Biology
Spring 2017 - 187AL is a purely computer-based bioinformatics lab. You don't need any previous knowledge or particular skill set to succeed, aside from being generally competent with a computer. All work is completed during the lab section (3 hours/day, twice a week). Lectures (75 minutes/day, twice a week) are solely for providing background information on the programs you'll be using throughout the quarter and for student presentations (3 weeks-worth total). Your grade is three 5-minute "progress report style" presentations (15% each) which you pretty much get full points just for presenting on what you've worked on so far, and the final lab report (55%) which is approximately 15 pages long, give or take a few pages. You spend the first few weeks familiarizing your self with the tools/programs needed to annotate a genome (gene prediction, gene alignment, gene editing, RNA-seq, etc.) By Week 6, you should generally understand the entire annotation workflow you need to complete and the rest of the quarter is spent annotating a second/third gene and continuously refining your data. Draft sections of the lab report are due at the end of the week (intro, methods, abstract, etc.) throughout the quarter which is useful because it makes you stay on top of your report. The lab can be laborious and the software can be temperamental but this is not a difficult class whatsoever as long as you manage your time well.