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Self-directed student research through analysis of microarray datasets: a computer-based functional genomics practical class for Masters-level students
KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
2011 (English)In: Biochemistry and molecular biology education, ISSN 1470-8175, E-ISSN 1539-3429, Vol. 39, no 6, 440-447 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This report describes a linked series of Masters-level computer practical workshops. They comprise an advanced functional genomics investigation, based upon analysis of a microarray dataset probing yeast DNA damage responses. The workshops require the students to analyse highly complex transcriptomics datasets, and were designed to stimulate active learning through experience of current research methods in bioinformatics and functional genomics. They seek to closely mimic a realistic research environment, and require the students first to propose research hypotheses, then test those hypotheses using specific sections of the microarray dataset. The complexity of the microarray data provides students with the freedom to propose their own unique hypotheses, tested using appropriate sections of the microarray data. This research latitude was highly regarded by students and is a strength of this practical. In addition, the focus on DNA damage by radiation and mutagenic chemicals allows them to place their results in a human medical context, and successfully sparks broad interest in the subject material. In evaluation, 79% of students scored the practical workshops on a five-point scale as 4 or 5 (totally effective) for student learning. More broadly, the general use of microarray data as a student research playground is also discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 39, no 6, 440-447 p.
Keyword [en]
Saccharomyces cerevisiae; DNA damage response; transcript profiling; microarray; bioinformatics
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-71985DOI: 10.1002/bmb.20542ISI: 000297105000007OAI: diva2:487088
QC 20120209Available from: 2012-01-31 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2012-02-09Bibliographically approved

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