Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 6
Hours 48
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code SM04 5S346


General knowledge of genetics and molecular biology.

Development of the course

Lectures are provided as well as at least 3 CFU of practical exercises in the computer lab (carried out individually or in small groups).

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course in bioinformatics is to provide an introduction to the knowledge and use of bioinformatic tools freely available on the World Wide Web, for the sequence analysis of nucleic acids and proteins, and more generally of the data available in biological databases.

Ability to apply the knowledge:
At the end of the course the student will be able to use the information available in biological databases and some of the most important bioinformatic tools to study nucleotide and protein sequences.

Soft skills:
Individual and group exercises in the computer lab will contribute to improve the autonomy level as well as communication skills also arising from work in groups.


Introduction to software for application in biology. Public biological sequence databases: history, catalog of current databases, organization of database entries, entry identification and retrieval, storage and updating, evolution to adapt to new technologies. Analysis of single nucleic acid sequences: from restriction map to gene structure prediction. Pairwise comparisons: dot plots and one-to-one alignment strategies, analysis of sequence similarities. Comparisons to databases: hardware and software strategies for generating and analysing very large numbers of pairwise alignments (BLAST). Multiple alignments: methods for detecting similarities within a family.

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
Oral examination, common for the I and II modules, with registration in the own private area.

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes: 
The final exam consists in the evaluation of a written report prepared by the student (the analysis of a protein using the bioinformatics tools available on the web) and an oral test to demonstrate the ability to use advanced information tools (databases, software packages) for genetics and biology.

Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final mark is assigned on the basis of the written report (insufficient, sufficient, good, very good) and of the oral exam through questions at low, medium, and high difficulty

Criteria for conferring final mark:
The final mark is assigned on the basis of the following 4 items:
1. the quality of the written report (efficacy, completeness, adherence to specifications, evaluation and analyses of the relevant information);
2. the understanding of all the material presented in the report, 
3. the skill demonstrated in biological database interrogation and in the use of related software,
4. the demonstration of subject competences and of clarity and appropriateness of technical and scientific language used.
The final mark is also assigned considering the student's ability to link the topics covered during the course among themselves and with topics of other courses already attended by the student.

Recommended reading

S. Pascarella e A. Paiardini, Bioinformatica, Zanichelli, Bologna.
DE. Krane e ML Raymer, Fondamenti di Bioinformatica, Pearson
A.M. Lesk, Introduzione alla Bioinformatica, McGraw-Hill Companies
D.W. Mount, Bioinformatics: sequence and genome analysis, Cold Spring Harbor Lab. Press.
C. Gibas, and P. Jambeck, Developing bioinformatics computer skills, O´Reilly, Cambridge
Slides provided during the course.

  • Biologia molecolare e applicata

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427