Bioinformatics for Biologists: An Introduction to Linux, Bash Scripting, and R

Bioinformatics for Biologists: An Introduction to Linux, Bash Scripting, and R

Get familiar with Linux and its command line in order to access the full range of bioinformatics tools available to researchers.

Explore the full range of bioinformatics software through Linux command line

Bioinformatics is a rapidly growing academic field, and one that promises to change how we analyse and compare biological data.

On this course, you’ll get familiar with Linux – the operating system often used to access and analyse biological data. You’ll come away able to navigate it using the command line, understanding how to write scripts and prepare data files for further analysis and visualisation.

Explore basic commands and file system in Linux

Much bioinformatics software is available for use through Linux, via the command line, which many biologists are unfamiliar with.

Alongside international team of bioinformaticians, you’ll learn what the main features of Linux are, and how it’s used in biology. You’ll be able to describe how a Linux file system is structured and learn how to use Linux commands to navigate the file system.

Discover how to work with biological data files

You’ll use Linux commands to manipulate biological data files, preparing them for export into other environments for further analysis. The course will introduce you to the basics of R language and RStudio software environment.

You’ll also learn the basics of writing and executing simple Bash scripts in order to automate data processing.

Unlocking Insights: Bioinformatics for Biologists

Bioinformatics for biologists serves as an indispensable bridge between life sciences and cutting-edge technology, revolutionizing the way biological data is analyzed and interpreted.

By seamlessly integrating computational methods and biological research, bioinformatics empowers biologists to extract meaningful insights from vast datasets, revealing hidden patterns and relationships.

This dynamic synergy enables informed decision-making, accelerates discoveries, and propels advancements across diverse fields, from genomics and proteomics to drug discovery and evolutionary studies of Bioinformatics for Biologists.

In the realm where biology meets informatics, bioinformatics equips biologists with a powerful toolkit to unravel the mysteries of life, driving innovation and shaping the future of biological exploration.

Learn from an international team of bioinformatics experts

The Wellcome Genome Campus (WGC) is one of the globe’s leading bioinformatics centres, pioneering vital research into genome analysis.

On this course, the educators from WGC Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences are joined by experts from the Institut Pasteur de Tunis, to give you practical training using real biological data in different biological scenarios. This will help you see how you can work with data in your own field of biology.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is Linux? Why Linux for biologists?
  • The Linux file system and navigating around it via the command line
  • Manipulation and searching of data files using the command line to access useful biological data
  • The basics of writing Bash scripts and its use for process automation
  • Guidelines and recommendations for best practice preparation of data files under Linux for exporting to other environments (use of R for further analysis and visualisation)
  • Exercising on biological data using different case scenarios

When would you like to start the course: Bioinformatics for Biologists?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available nowJoin today

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve in Bioinformatics for Biologists?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

  • Identify main characteristics of Linux and its use in biology
  • Describe the structure of a Linux file system
  • Use Linux commands to navigate the file system
  • Perform Linux commands to manipulate and interrogate biological data files
  • Prepare biological data files under Linux for exporting into other environments such as R
  • Write and execute simple shell scripts in order to automate processing of data

Who is the course for?

This course will appeal to students, biologists, and research scientists with an interest in bioinformatics.

Learners are expected to have some knowledge of or experience with life sciences, but no prior knowledge of computing or bioinformatics is expected. There are no formal prerequisites.

What software or tools do you need with Bioinformatics for Biologists?

Windows users might need to download and install a Unix emulation program. Linux and Mac users can run Unix commands natively in a terminal session. The course examples can also be run using a browser-based online emulator.

For the best learning experience, learners should have a computer available to them, not just a handheld device.

Who will you learn with?

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.

Fatma Guerfali

Fatma Guerfali

Researcher at Institut Pasteur in Tunis and Trainer in Bioinformatics. Passionate about data analysis and visualization for pathogens related Genomics and Transcriptomics

Victoria Offord

Victoria Offord

As a Prinicipal Bioinformatician in Experimental Cancer Genetics at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, I develop and run pipelines for saturation mutagenesis, CRISPR screens, RNA-Seq and variant calling.

Mark Sheppard

Mark Sheppard

I am the Assistant IT Manager for the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences team. My interests include machine learning and coding.

Who developed the course?

Wellcome Connecting Science

Wellcome Connecting Science

Wellcome Connecting Science develops and delivers open postgraduates courses and conferences focused on biomedicine.

What’s included?

Wellcome Connecting Science 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 eligibleJoin now

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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