BIOL 1650: Introduction to Bioinformatics

Introduces students to fundamental bioinformatics principles and helps them decide if Bioinformatics is the right major for them.


Credits                    3.0

Prerequisites        BIOL 1610: College Biology I

Required Books   Practical Computing for Biologists

                                    ISBN-13: 978-0878933914


This introductory bioinformatics course is designed to assist students in determining if bioinformatics is the correct major for them. Students will be introduced to basic Python programming and the Linux operating system. Students will be asked to write simple scripts to manipulate common text formats and analyze DNA sequence data. Students will gain insights into bioinformatics research opportunities and have a basic understanding of what a bioinformatics career entails.

The purpose of BIOL 1650 is to help students develop the capacity to conduct basic bioinformatics research. To assess the quality of each student, frequent, low-stakes programming tests will be conducted. Each morning, students will be asked to either answer a question about assigned readings or apply their knowledge to a small coding assignment. Larger tests will also occur throughout the semester. I subscribe to the philosophy that students need to continually apply knowledge gained so that they remember it; therefore, all tests are cumulative.

GC content is important because it can signify In the chapter 8 readings, you learned how to calculate the percent composition of each nucleotide in a DNA sequence. Using that knowledge, complete the Python code below to calculate the GC percentage of a DNA sequence and print it to the screen as a percentage (i.e., ATCGGC would output 66.67).


#! /usr/bin/env python

dna = raw_input("DNA sequence") #gets DNA

# {Your code}





#! /usr/bin/env python

dna = raw_input("DNA sequence") #gets DNA

dna = dna.upper()

numberG = dna.count('G')

numberC = dna.count('C')

print 100 * (float(numberG + numberC) / len(dna))