Analysis of Biological Sequences

Course Description

This 5-day course provides a practical introduction to the ways in which a computer can be used to analyse molecular biological data. The power of genome databases and comparative genomics will also be demonstrated. We aim to give a general understanding of the range of software available, how the programs work and the level to which the results they generate can be depended upon.

Wherever possible, a practical approach will be adopted. That is, participants will be lead through exercises in which sample data will be processed in realistic fashion. Exercises will be interspersed with short talks.

This course is intended for people starting to use the computer to assist their research in molecular biology. It will be assumed that participants have a good understanding of molecular biology and a basic familiarity with the use of a desktop computer (e.g. a Windows computer). No prior experience with bioinformatics software or the computers on which it is implemented (typically UNIX machines) will be required.


  • Internet data resources - molecular biological databases

  • Nucleotide sequence analysis - restriction mapping, primer design

  • Pairwise comparison of DNA and protein sequences

  • Sequence database similarity searching

  • Protein sequence analysis - motifs, domains, patterns, profiles

  • Multiple sequence analysis - Jalview

  • Genome databases - accessing genome annotations, Ensembl

  • Sequence annotation - Apollo