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September 25, 2017 / by

Quickstart to bioinformatics

Challenges

When you’re new to bioinformatics you can be overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge you have to gain, especially if you already forgot some terms from your biology class. You may also encounter some issues in properly using bioinformatics nomenclature. What is the difference between genome, gene and genotype? These words sound merely the same but specify diiferent components in genomics. Last but not least this field of study is rapidly developing so you have to keep your knowledge timely.

Here we will add some resources available publicly in the web that we feel is worth recommending for absolute beginners to start their study/work in bioinformatics. We believe that even if you are more to computer science you need to understand the meaning of data you’re processing.

First steps
  • Start with Khan Academy Biology Course It’s available in polish and english. It is a series of non-demanding videos which introduce you to fundamental terms and processes from biological point of you. You will learn about cell division, DNA purpose, central dogma of genetics, genes expression and classic Mendel’s genetics
  • Look at Stated Clearly Genetics and Evolution playlist Very amusing short animations that explain some of the terms in simple way.
  • Take Genomic Data Science courses on Coursera Here you will be able to learn proper bioinformatics along with computer tools and programming languages that will help you along the way. In the syllabus you can find: BioConductor, Python, commandline tools, Statistics, NGS data analysis… That’s where the fun begins.
Look around you

We actually do advise to actively seek for events, workshops and conferences that will focus on bioinformatics. This year we were happy to join NGS Summer School which offeres a great opportunity to pickup basics, participate in hands-on workshops, learn totally new trends in bioinformatics field and meet other bioinformatics enthusiasts from other countries.