The goal of this activity is twofold: on one hand, it helps both categories of inflowing students to get acquainted with their respective "new" scientific field ; on the other hand, it helps the students with different scientific backgrounds to grasp novel concepts and ideas by way of mutual direct confrontation in discussion fora: students with IT-background inform students with biology background, and vice versa, so that they understand the nature and complexities of their new fields of exploration. In this strategy, the students themselves act as teachers. The teaching staff is only supervising, guiding and chaperoning the sessions.
The participating student has either an in depth general knowledge in the biology-genetics field, or an in depth general knowledge in the statistics, mathematics and IT-field.
Articles and literature
Slides, transparencies, courseware
Toledo / e-platform
Order of Enrolment
This course unit is a prerequisite for taking the following course units:
I0D51A : Bioinformatics: High-Throughput Analysis
Is also included in other courses
This introduction is mainly based on an historical point of view. It involves the retroactive exploration of historical research problems. The emphasis is not on the technological achievements but rather on the way science is/was conducted and on the nature of scientific inquiry that has resulted in new scientific domains, specifically genetics, statistics, molecular biology, information technology etc.
1) Who was Mendel? What were his initial problem and his strategy? What statistical problems did he encounter?
2) History of statistics: What were the problems that eventually gave birth to statistics?
3) Coding and decoding: WWII, the Enigma machine,
4) From computer to PC
5) 3D thinking: relation between chemical formulas and 3D structure. Molecules as electron clouds an visualisation in pixels.
6) From molecule tot individual
7) Recombinant DNA: history of cloning. The ideas of Sinsheimer before and after 1973. Risks between reality and fiction.
8) Estimating sequence complexity versus diversity