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Section 5 - Introduction to Bioinformatics

This section consists of a 'hands-on' tutorial in Bioinformatics on the World Wide Web, written by Terri Atwood and colleagues of the Biomolecular Structure and Modelling group, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London.

To the uninitiated, there is perhaps a bewildering array of sequence and structure databases now available around the world; this tutorial offers an introduction to the subject, at the end of which you should be aware of what kind of information is stored in each of the major databases, at what institution(s) they may be accessed, and for what kinds of useful analyses they can be used.

In this section, we are concerned primarily with sequence analysis, rather than what may be termed structural considerations. The important parts of the Bioinformatics Tutorial are therefore (for the moment) the Preface, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Nucleic acid sequence analysis, Protein sequence analysis - Searching the primary sources, and Searching the secondary sources. However the section on Protein structure analysis will also be useful for investigating your own PDB file, but we will return to this later.

To appreciate the contents of the Tutorial, you should be aware of the aims and concepts of sequence alignment. If necessary, refer to this section on Implications of Primary Structure from Section 2; this also contains links to the VSNS-Biocomputing Division course and its various mirrors.

Iddo Friedberg provides this interactive Sequence Alignment Resource, which illustrates the concepts involved; refer to Chapter 1 of the VSNS-BCD course for further information.

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Last updated 18th Dec'96