University of Arizona

Metagenomics: ABE 487/587

Environmental genomics is revolutionizing our understanding of microbes from the environment to human health. At its core are new molecular methods called metagenomics to sequence DNA directly from an environment, thus capturing data on the entire microbial community and bypassing culture. Modern (Next-Gen) sequencing technologies produce massive sequence datasets that allow for these new insights, but also present new hurdles in interpreting them. This hands-on course teaches students the biological concepts behind working with genetic data from these complex communities, and practical bioinformatics approaches for analyzing the data. Students work in a collaborative learning classroom to gain skills in (1) beginning Unix and python, (2) bioinformatics techniques for analyzing large-scale metagenomic datasets, and (3) high-performance computing for bioinformatics. These skills are taught by implementing a real-world metagenomics project to understand how genes, pathways, and environmental context can be translated into ecosystem-level knowledge (in the environment or human health).
Fall 2017 Course Website
Fall 2016 Course Website