Report: National Workshop on 'Bioinfomatics' - St. Xavier's College

Bioinformatics a rapidly developing interdisciplinary field of science uses Computer science, Mathematics and Engineering for analyzing and interpreting Biological information. Each field of Science has its own uniqueness but on integrating a few aspects of each field the results obtained are fascinating. St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa, provided an opportunity to explore this field by recently hosting a two days workshop with hands on training in “Bioinformatics”. The programme was jointly organized by the Departments of Biotechnology, Computer Science and Microbiology.

At the Inaugural programme, the Principal of the College Fr. Dr. Jeronimo D’Silva welcomed the gathering while Ms. Ursula Barreto gave a brief introduction to the Workshop. The Chief Guest Dr. Sunil Kumar Singh Director, CSIR National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula Goa, in his address emphasized the need to explore the oceans as a measure to combat depleting resources. Dr. Sanjeev Ghadi, Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Goa University delivered the keynote address. The workshop brought together scientists and students from the states of Pune, Bihar, Hyderabad and Goa.

Dr. Ajay Kumar Singh Associate Professor, Centre for Biological Sciences (Bioinformatics), Central University of South Bihar, Dr. Shrikant Pawar and Dr. Dhiraj Dhotre Scientist C, National Centre for Microbial Resource, Pune conducted the hands on training. Topics covered included the use of softwares Chromas Pro, Clustal X, MEGA and DAMBE for sequence editing (Chromas Pro), single and multiple sequence nucleotide sequence alignment (Clustal X), visualization of sequences in FASTA formats (DAMBE), BLAST analysis and construction of phylogenic trees (MEGA). The participants were enlightened with next generation sequencing using ion torrent, illumina PacBio and Roche 454. Emulsion PCR, genome annotation and the human microbiome were also discussed. They also learnt the use of various biological databases such as NCBI, GenBank, DDBJ, EMBL, SwissProt, TrEMBL, PIR etc. Local and Global sequence alignment using DOT plot analysis, EMBOSS and Clustal Omega was demonstrated. The workshop highlighted the applications of Bioinformatics in Biological Research such as Gene to functional expression and DNA microarray technology.  A short valedictory function was held with presentation of certificates to the participants. Ms. Jocelyn Fernandes, Asst. Professor Dept. of Biotechnology, proposed the vote of thanks.

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