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Graph Algorithms in Genome Sequencing

Learn how graphs are used to assemble millions of pieces of DNA into a contiguous genome and use these genomes to construct a Tree of Life.
Graph Algorithms in Genome Sequencing

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6,218 already enrolled!
Estimated 3 weeks
8–10 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
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About this course

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In this course, part of the Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters program, you will learn how graph algorithms are used in two fundamental problems in modern biology:

  • How do we sequence a genome?
  • How do we construct an evolutionary “Tree of Life?"

In the first part of the course, you will learn how genome sequencing relies on using a graph to assemble millions of tiny DNA fragments into a contiguous genome. We will then shift gears and learn how to construct an evolutionary tree of life from genome data.

At a glance

  • Institution: UCSanDiegoX
  • Subject: Computer Science
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    Basic knowledge of:

    • at least one programming language: loops, arrays, stacks, recursion.
    • mathematics: proof by induction, proof by contradiction.

What you'll learn

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  • Graph algorithms
  • Algorithms for genome assembly
  • Phylogenetics

Week 1: Introduction to Genome Sequencing and Graphs
Introduction to the basics of genome sequencing, and first attempts to model this problem using graphs.

Weeks 2 and 3: Assembling Genomes from Tiny Fragments
Applying an Eulerian path approach to assemble a genome from small pieces of DNA, and adapting this theoretical solution to practical considerations.

Learner testimonials

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“This course has the most enthusiastic, offbeat and committed instructors I've ever met. The duo takes the learners on amazing trip into the fascinating world of bioinformatics, using examples and analogies from everyday life and popculture as a background. Good work, guys!”
-- Previous Student

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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