Golden Helix - Simplifying Genetic Analysis in the classroom
Teaching a comprehensive genetic analysis course to undergraduate or graduate students is a big undertaking. Every year tens of thousands of students enter a pre-professional program, medical school or pharmacy school, with enrollment rates rising every year. As the DNA sequencing market grows at exceptional speeds and the promise of precision medicine fundamentally changes how health care is practiced, the demand on educators is not only to teach the science, but also how to process and utilize the massive amounts of genomic data being generated.
As universities are putting together educational programs to prepare the next generation of scientists to understand the ins and outs of DNA analytics, they are running into a common obstacle ? students who are fascinated by the science of their chosen course of study are not necessarily computer programmers, nor do they want to be.
Yet, many of the tools used to teach basic analytic skills in genomics programs are public domain/open source programs that require enormous amounts of computer science knowledge to navigate.
- Students being required to learn scripting and programing skills
- Lack of intuitive visualization in public domain software programs
- Manipulating very large datasets
To address these obstacles, we provide two software solutions: SNP & Variation Suite™ and VarSeq®. Both provide access to our world-class visualizations, data management capabilities and fully documented methods and algorithms which are served up in a user friendly interface, eliminating the need to learn how to write command-line syntax. Better still, our software is easily installed and run on a desktop or laptop.
No Computer Science Degree Required
Our software tools manage, analyze, visualize and filter data all through a friendly user interface. We take great care in researching and implementing best practices as well as the latest methods and algorithms and serve them up in an intuitive way. We eliminate the need to learn how to script, although advanced students can still explore scripting options with our command-line interface.
With GenomeBrowse® visualizations deeply integrated into our full software suite, your students will quickly and easily understand what the data is saying, in extraordinary detail.
All major methods and algorithms used in the software are documented (including the math, use cases, and article citations). We completely shunned the "black box" model. This is ideal for teaching purposes, as professors want to review the underlying math and/or data manipulation workflows. We are not aware of another commercial competitor whose methods are as transparent as ours.
Easily Handle Massive Data
We spent a lot of time simplifying the import of large datasets. Hundreds of exomes and genomes can be imported for analysis or visualization with a few mouse clicks. It's simple and easy to start working with data.
How We Work Together
At Golden Helix® we have extensive experience launching educational programs in genetics. We support professors not only with the use of our software, but we can also advise on curriculum and provide data sets and documentation.
Case Study: Dr. Jeffrey Moore Bridges the Gap Between Genetics and Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
The premedical competencies, as outlined in a recent American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)-HHMI report on Scientific Foundation for Future Physicians, call for stronger connections between course content and the underlying principles in health and medicine. To meet this need Dr.Jeffrey Moore is developing chemistry courses at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for pre-health professionals that teach concepts and content in a personally meaningful way, stimulating deep interest and promoting curiosity-driven learning. Scientific evidence shows that people who feel curious devote more attention to an activity, process information more critically, remember information more effectively and persist on task until goals are met.
In Moore's class, learning is made personally meaningful by enabling the students to investigate their own molecular make-up using GenomeBrowse and the VarSeq® software, helping them understand how their own phenotype relates to their own personal genetic data. Acquiring personal genetic data is affordable and is becoming an important part of the healthcare industry. For this reason, Moore believes there is a growing need to educate prospective healthcare professionals in the interpretation of genetic data and the role of genotype-phenotype association in molecular etiology of human conditions.
Learn more about how Dr. Moore's Curriculum and use of GenomeBrowse and VarSeq in his webcast presentation: "The Molecular Sciences Made Personal".