Online course in Health & Psychology

Bacterial Genomes: From DNA to Protein Function Using Bioinformatics

Use bioinformatics to explore DNA sequences and protein functions, to find the determinants of virulence in microbes.

Bacterial Genomes: From DNA to Protein Function Using Bioinformatics

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 5 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Digital upgrade Free
  • Accreditation Available More info

Why join the course?

Join us in our quest to discover what makes microbes dangerous. Use bioinformatics to probe genomes, to explore and represent DNA and protein sequences. Then, use databases to find protein sequences’ conserved domains and investigate their functions.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsMillions of bacterial genomes are sequenced every year, producing a vast amount of data that needs to be analysed, explored, and interpreted. The study of bacterial genomes through the use of bioinformatics has helped researchers understand what turns bacteria into deadly pathogens. Have you ever wondered what researchers do with the sequencing data? How do they read these encoded messages? How do they identify which part of the DNA is responsible for pathogenicity or antibiotic resistance? I am Dr. Anna Protasio. I am Dr. Christine Boinett. And I am Martin Aslett. Here at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, we use genome sequencing to understand more about bacteria and to improve human health.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsIn this course, you will learn how to access DNA data, how to interpret protein sequences from DNA, and how to do similarity searches on public databases. Together, we'll learn how to use these revolutionary bioinformatic tools and databases to decipher the roles bacterial genes play in biology and disease. This course is for people who want to understand bioinformatics and to use these tools to answer biological questions. By the end of this course, you will be able to carry out similarity searches on public repositories and extract genome protein sequences from databases. You will also learn how to use online tools to understand protein function through similarity searches.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsJoin us on this fascinating voyage that will take us from gene sequences, homology searches, through to protein function.

What topics will you cover?

• Bioinformatics tools, DNA and protein sequences
• Retrieving DNA and protein sequences from repositories
• Databases for protein annotation
• Inferring function from sequence

Who is this accredited by?

Royal College of Pathologists: RCPath has approved this course for 10 CPD credits. This applies to medical staff and clinical scientists in career grade posts who are enrolled with one of the Royal Colleges for CPD purposes.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 16 Sep 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Assess DNA representations and protein sequences
  • Perform searches in primary databases (repositories) and retrieve gene/protein data
  • Interpret different repository submission formats
  • Investigate biological databases for research
  • Identify the putative function of proteins based on their conserved domains

Who is the course for?

The course will be of interest to undergraduates, post-graduates, researchers, bioinformaticians, biomedical researchers, microbiologists, healthcare professionals and all those who are interested in learning about the underlying mechanisms of bacterial disease, DNA sequences and protein data, or how to use online analytical tools to probe genomes.

The topics covered in this course are applicable to the genomes of all organisms. It is not essential to have previous knowledge or experience in bioinformatics. Scientific terminology is explained. The opportunity to use online computational tools in the context of bacterial genomes will also be of interest to teachers and their 16-18-year-old science and computing students.

What software or tools do you need?

No specific software, hardware, or other resources are required.

What do people say about this course?

Clear introduction of the – often viewed as complex – field of bioinformatics.

Mqondisi Tshabalala
PhD student, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Highlights of the course were the investigations with the databases - these reinforced the learning.

Dr. Alan McLintic
Anaesthesiologist, Faculty of Medicine and Health Scientists, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Who will you learn with?

Dr. Anna Protasio

Dr. Anna Protasio

I am a researcher in parasitology and life sciences. I am passionate about bioinformatics and how we can use these tools to answer questions in biology.

Martin Aslett

Martin Aslett

I am the IT Manager for the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences team. My interests lie in bioinformatics and its application to microbial genomics.

Dr. Christine Boinett

Dr. Christine Boinett

I am a researcher in bacterial genetics and my interest is in understanding the development of resistance in bacterial pathogens using next generation sequencing techniques.

Matthew Dorman

Matthew Dorman

I am a graduate student at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, where I research the virulence and the molecular genetics of bacterial pathogens.

Dr. Ulrike Böhme

Dr. Ulrike Böhme

I am a researcher in parasitology at the Wellcome Sanger Institute where I work as biocurator for Plasmodium genomes.

Professor Nicholas Thomson

Professor Nicholas Thomson

I am a Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. I provide scientific oversight for this course. I am interested in bacterial evolution and the spread of infectious disease.

Who developed the course?

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences provides open postgraduate courses and conferences focused on biomedicine.


What's included?

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible