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University of California, San Diego

Hacking COVID-19 — Course 1: Identifying a Deadly Pathogen

University of California, San Diego via Coursera


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In this course, you will follow in the footsteps of the bioinformaticians investigating the COVID-19 outbreak by assembling the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Whether you’re new to the world of computational biology, or you’re a bioinformatics expert seeking to learn about its applications in the COVID-19 pandemic, or somewhere in between, this course is for you! As you go through this journey, we will introduce and explain genomic concepts and give you many opportunities to practice your skills, and we will provide a series of problems with gradually increasing complexity. This first course will only discuss the assembly of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, but future courses in this series will explore follow-up bioinformatics analyses used in the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Week 1
    • In Chapter 1, we will first travel back in time to learn about the history of the SARS outbreak of 2003. Next, we will travel to late 2019 to learn about the origins of SARS-CoV-2, a novel virus that wreaked havoc upon the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, we will explore the biology behind this mysterious virus as we take our first steps towards Hacking COVID-19.
  • Week 2
    • In Chapter 2, we will learn about how modern technologies are able to sequence DNA in small chunks. Next, we will learn how to use SPAdes, a popular genome assembly tool, to reconstruct the SARS-CoV-2 genome from small fragments. Lastly, we will learn how to use QUAST to assess the quality of our assembled SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Taught by

Pavel Pevzner and Niema Moshiri


4.6 rating at Coursera based on 45 ratings

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