Welcome! A brief introduction to the course and its logistics.
Week 1: A Journey of a Thousand Miles
What does a cryptic message leading to buried treasure have to do with biology? Many cellular processes are encoded as "secret messages" within an organism's DNA. But how do we decipher these messages?
Week 2: Finding Replication Origins.
We examine the details of DNA replication and apply these details to design an intelligent algorithmic approach to find the replication origin in a bacterial genome.
Week 3: Hunting for Regulatory Motifs.
Your cells "tell time" and maintain your circadian clock by turning genes on and off during the day in set patterns. This brings us to a different kind of "secret message" problem in biology: how do we find the motifs hidden in DNA that switch on genes? We develop introductory algorithms for motif-finding in genes.
Week 4: How Rolling Dice Helps Us Find Regulatory Motifs.
We see how to improve upon these motif-finding approaches by designing randomized algorithms that can "roll dice" to find motifs and perform quite well in practice.
Week 5: Finishing Up
Bioinformatics Application Challenge: Motif-Finding. We use popular software built on the motif-finding algorithms that we learned to hunt for motifs in a real biological dataset.
In an end-of-the course assessment, we will ask you to answer Course Review questions. This will give you the opportunity to let us know how the course went for you. This assessment will provide data for our research study and will help us improve our courses for future learners.