This BioSeq course provides the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge developments in next-generation DNA sequencing with first-hand experience in collecting and analyzing real experimental data.
Many recent advances in biology revolve around analysis of large-scale genomic information to gain insight into biological systems and processes. Next-generation sequencing technology enabled much of this research, but access to this technology has been limited to researchers at top-tier universities – beyond the reach of high school students and teachers. As DNA sequencing becomes faster, cheaper, and increasingly ubiquitous, this limitation no longer makes sense. For students interested in careers as doctors, forensic biologists, computer scientists, medical researchers, and other life scientists, exposure to sequencing and bioinformatics is critical.
This summer, Tufts is offering a six-week course for rising high school seniors titled Bioinformatics Inquiry through Sequencing, or BioSeq. This course will allow students to experience the excitement of participating in a genuine research-based activity in the field of bioinformatics. In the process, they will have the opportunity to learn important molecular biology and genetics laboratory techniques, work with a next-generation DNA sequencer, and use advanced computer technology to gather and make sense of the data.
Tufts faculty and graduate students will lead a variety of activities, from transforming bacteria to performing polymerase chain reactions (PCR), and sequencing DNA. Students will have an opportunity to learn about different mutations and the microbiome – the microbes that colonize our bodies and the environment. Students will be introduced to bioinformatics – the use of computer technology to collect, organize, and analyze complex biological data.
Students will be exposed to all the components of an active research environment, including proposal preparation, data analysis, collaboration, and mentoring.
Tufts faculty and graduate students supervise all classroom and project work. They have outstanding backgrounds in many different areas of computer science, biology, and chemistry, combined with a commitment to inspire interest in science by creating opportunities for young scientists to participate in real-world research.
Although the course is at the entry level, interested high school students must have completed either AP or honors biology. BioSeq is only available to qualified rising high school seniors who meet Tufts Summer Study admissions criteria. A satisfactory SAT or ACT score is also required.
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The BioSeq program at Tufts gave me the opportunity to put my knowledge of biology into practice in state-of-the-art labs. The professors were amazing and most of all passionate about their subjects. Through the experiments and projects, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in science. I made lifelong friends from different parts of the world who I loved spending time with at the Tisch library and Tufts cafeteria. This experience at Tufts made me understand the challenges and responsibilities of college life and has made me more mature and responsible. BioSeq was the best decision I have ever made. I had the best summer of my life!