Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to use bioinformatics in the classroom (GCSE and Key Stage 3)
Bioinformatics is the process of using computers to organise, collect, analyse and understand biological data. The subject unites computers and biologists, and has huge potential in the science classroom as the majority of programs are freely available.
- BLAST to search genomes and proteomes for genes and proteins
- NCBI to find sequences for proteins and genes
- PDB to visualise 3D protein structures
Bioinformatics practical: the Florida dentist
This practical is based on a true story about a Florida dentist accused of infecting his patients with HIV. The files below show students how to build evolutionary trees to investigate the evolution of the HIV virus in Florida. Students retrieve and align nucleotide sequences and build phylogenetic trees to determine if the Florida dentist did infect his patients.
Download the following documents:
- Student instruction sheet to carry out the practical. Students need access to a computer with internet. (PDF)
- HIV DNA sequences
- Original Science paper