Human Microbiome Sequencing Analysis

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Bioinformatics at DTN

Human Microbiome (BIOL494)

Recently, UAF Biology Assistant Professor Devin Drown has been using Decision Theater North once a week as a teaching tool for his Human Microbiome (BIOL494) course. Our interactive environment allows students to work in pairs on analyzing microbiome samples while projecting each student's laptop screen on Decision Theater screens.

This enabled me to be able to quickly spot students in difficulty, sometimes before they noticed it in the code. Additionally, students could share, in real time, the results of their analysis. Student could compare their output and plots with one another freely. We used the immersion of the rooms experience to discuss our results. Much of the analysis is command line, a first experience for many students.
In addition to using laptops for small data analysis, students used our newly installed Galaxy server, a web based portal for genomic and bioinformatic analysis. This portal enables undergraduate students and student researchers to conduct their own genomic analyses without the need for extensive computational or command line UNIX experience. This portal will allow non-computational biologists to conduct reproducible, sharable next-generation genomic analysis. The web based portal will be integrated with UA’s new Chinook High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster to provide the computational power for genomic analysis of next-generation sequencing data. This flexible portal has tools that can support research projects investigating environmental microbial communities, bacterial and eukaryotic genome assembly, proteomics, and transcriptomics to just name a few opportunities.
— Devin Drown

The Human Microbiome (BIOL 494) was created after Devin Drown received a curriculum development award from Alaska INBRE.