Module Identifier BS24110  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Michael K Winson  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Joanne S Porter  
Pre-Requisite BS12410 , BS10910  
Co-Requisite BS23720  
Course delivery Lecture   13 Hours. 13 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   2 Hours.  
  Other   12 Hours. 6 x 2 hour Bioinformatics & Phylogenetics workshops  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Phylogenetics project report40%
Semester Assessment Bioinformatics poster project and presentation.60%
Supplementary Assessment Coursework; Resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Discuss the rapid evolution of genomics and bioinformatics and the importance of these technologies to modern biology and society.   

Discuss the relevance of phylogenetic methods and their use in elucidating relationships between taxa in a range of situations

Demonstrate an awareness of the range of software tools available for pattern recognition and prediction and of the benefits and limitations of current comparison and prediction methods.

Discuss the importance of bioinformatics in sequencing, storing and investigating the sequence of the human genome and genomes of model organisms.

Select and use appropriate resources and software tools for processing genomic information, determining protein homologies, predicting protein function and visualising protein structures.

Describe examples of how bioinformatics is being used to underpin functional genomics investigations.

Demonstrate an understanding of the economic necessity of high-throughput methods for investigating gene function.


This module is an integrated series of lectures and workshops covering the application of bioinformatics techniques to genomics and functional genomics. Bioinformatics encompasses the methodologies (particularly computational) enabling the analysis and integration of information made available by structural, physiological, taxonomic and genomic studies with the ultimate goal of assigning functions to genes. The training will provide students with the basic skills appropriate to undertaking level 3 laboratory and bioinformatics projects and employment or further research as bioinformaticians. The training will build on ICT expertise gained in level 1 modules in Biochemistry, Genetics and Information Technology & Quantitative Biology.

Brief description

The course will provide both theoretical and practical training in computer based database searching, introducing the rationale behind the use of software for searching databases, processing and presenting biological information. The content will emphasise the importance of the computational approach and many of the skills obtained will be generic and transferable to other areas of biology in addition to molecular biology. The key topics will include fundamentals of database searching, computational gene finding, multiple alignment and analysis of sequences, protein classification and functional assignment, phylogenetic analysis and functional genomics.


The lectures and workshops cover the following topics

An introduction to bioinformatics
Information retrieval from biological databases
Fundamentals of database searching
Computational gene finding
Sequence analysis
Primary structure analysis, pairwise and multiple sequence alignment
Protein classification and functional assignment
Protein model visualisation
Phylogenetic analysis
An introduction to functional genomics
The importance of bioinformatics to understanding gene function
The context of the Human genome project

Module Skills

Problem_solving Problem solving will be developed in the computational workshops.  
Research skills Research of material for poster projects and presentations.  
Communication Discussion in seminars and tutorials and poster presentation.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Use of library and web-based resources.  
Information Technology Use of internet to access databases for bioinformatic searches and application of web-based programs in bioinformatics.  
Application of Number Application of statistically-based web tools for analysis of sequence data.  
Personal Development and Career planning Development of skills in, and appreciation of, a part of modern biology of potential importance for careers.  
Subject Specific Skills Accessing, assimilating and storing information via remote computer servers.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Lesk, Arthur M. (June 2005) Introduction to Bioinformatics 2nd Edition. 0199277877
Page, Roderic D. M. (1998) Molecular evolution :a phylogenetic approach /Roderic D.M. Page, Edward C. Holmes. 0865428891
** Recommended Consultation
Mount, David W. Bioinformatics :sequence and genome analysis /David W. Mount. 0879696877


This module is at CQFW Level 5