This guide is created by the Armenian Bioinformatics Institute (ABI) and is the curriculum of the OMICSS summer school.
About the Guide
Contemporary medicine, pharma, and biotech have largely been transformed into data-dependent ventures, where large-scale biological data analyses are cornerstones of success. Technologies that have revolutionized bio-related research and industries, such as large-scale sequencing, have also posed the challenge of having enough specialists - bioinformaticians - able to transform data into knowledge. Training specialists in the field of bioinformatics and genomics is thus of tremendous importance to life science research.
In response to this challenge, the Armenian Bioinformatics Institute (ABI) in collaboration with the Bioinformatics Group at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) NAS RA organized a summer school in genome bioinformatics in the summer of 2021. To make the materials of the school accessible for all, we have compiled those in this guide.
The guide offers you the possibility to gain the fundamental knowledge and skills you would need to start your first Bioinformatics project. You will learn about DNA sequencing and sequence comparison. It is, however, not a comprehensive guide to bioinformatics, but only a seed to make it easier for you to continue with further education.
Who Is The Guide For?
This guide is designed for biologists OR data/computer scientists eager to start their journey in Bioinformatics and Genomics. However, if you do not match these specifications but would still like to discover the fascinating world of science, we encourage you to challenge yourself and complete the guide, as the lack of knowledge in any of the disciplines is not a problem (read below).
I Don't Know Programming. What Should I Do?
If your programming skills are not sufficient for the completion of this guide, do not worry. The guide is designed to teach you all of the basic concepts of programming you need to know in order to complete it successfully. In the context of Bioinformatics, you only need to be familiar with a handful of basics.
I Don't Know Biology. What Should I Do?
If you come from a programming background and feel like you lack the biological knowledge necessary for the successful completion of the guide, need not worry. Pay specific attention to the Molecular Biology modules, as all of the fundamental concepts in biology (molecular biology) are explained there.
What Does The Guide Cover?
The guide covers the basics of Molecular Biology, R Programming, Command-line tools, Statistics, Experimental Techniques in Genetics and Genomics, and Sequencing Data Analysis.
The guide is comprised of 8 sections, each corresponding to one week of training. Every section takes an average of 8 hours to complete. We recommend completing the guide in the order specified, however, you are free to explore particular sections of the guide if you prefer so.
Some modules are harder than others, so if you find yourself struggling with a concept, the guide includes alternative links and resources in addition to the ones provided. Feel free to play around and choose the learning path you are most comfortable with.
If you are fluent in a particular module, this guide provides the flexibility to skip to the modules you feel you need more practice in. People with a background in molecular biology, for example, can choose to skip the Molecular Biology modules and focus on the Programming chapters instead, and vice versa.
Note: This guide is certified. In order to access the guide exams and get a certificate of completion, you will need to pay a small fee of 10.000 AMD. Read more here.
So, without further ado, let's jump in!
One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality