Bioinformatics: An introduction

Time to complete course: 30 min.

About Bioinformatics: An introduction Virtual Lab Simulation

This simulation replaces the previous “Plant Transcriptomics” simulation.

What if you could engineer a metabolic pathway from a rare plant into another organism and produce an antimalarial compound at large scale? In this simulation, you will learn how to identify the genes that encode specific enzymes. You will use a method called RNA-seq to quantify the transcription of different genes. Use this information to narrow down the candidate genes by using bioinformatics tools.

Find a novel antimalarial compound

Your mission starts with analyzing a plant sample from the Amazon rainforest. A group of local tribal people use this rare plant to cure malaria. A phytochemist identifies the antimalarial compound. Your task is to identify the enzymes responsible for the production of this potential drug.

Learn how molecular compounds are produced and extract the RNA

Your next task will be to identify an enzymatic pathway that converts the precursor molecule into the antimalarial component. If you want to produce this compound at large quantities, you will need to transform the enzymatic pathway into another organism. To do so, you must identify the genes encoding the enzymes. All the information you need is contained within the composition of mRNA molecules in different plant tissues.

Learn about the structural difference of mRNA and DNA and perform RNA-seq

The key to the functions of mRNA and DNA is their structures. While the lab assistant is reverse transcribing your mRNA sample into cDNA, you will be learning about the structure of these two amazing molecules. Your next task is then to perform Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) of your cDNA sample. You will sequence the cDNA of different plant tissues to determine the sequence and expression of the target enzymes. An animation will show you what is going on inside the flow cell enabling you to see how millions of different sequences can be read in parallel.

Analyze your results using phylogenetic analysis and BLAST

Like a true detective, you will analyze the huge amount of NGS reads and determine which enzyme is most likely involved in the biosynthesis of the antimalarial compound. You will learn how relatedness of DNA sequences can be used to identify unknown enzymes and learn the basics of sequence comparisons.

Will you be able to identify the enzymes and produce a novel drug that can save millions of people?

Get Started Now

Embark on a mission to identify the metabolic pathway that produces an antimalarial compound in a rare plant. Can you begin the process of creating a novel antimalarial drug?

Techniques In Lab

  • BLAST
  • RNA-seq

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how a gene can be involved in the synthesis of a compound
  • Understand how Next Generation Sequencing technology can be used to measure gene expression
  • Use BLAST and phylogenetic analysis to screen candidate genes

Screenshots of Bioinformatics: An introductionVirtual Lab Simulation

Collaborators

How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 159 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course

Labster Product Tour

Wednesdays: 1PM ET (US) | 10AM PT (US)

Days
Hours
Minutes

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

%%%selected_title%%%
No simulations added yet.
    %%%selected_title%%%
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container

    Techniques

    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully

    IMPORTANT: Check the original email with instructions from your instructor to verify how you should gain access.

    Link Access

    Did you receive a link/URL to access Labster from your teacher? This is for either “Labster Direct” or “Quick Access”, and no login is required. See info below.

    School LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

    Course Code

    Did you receive a Course Code from your teacher? (this is different from a purchased voucher code. Learn how to access the Labster LMS, or log in below.
    IMPORTANT: Please check your original email to confirm the correct access option.

    Labster Direct / Quick Access

    Did you receive a link/URL to access simulations through the Labster Direct or Quick Access pages? If so, no login is required. See info below.

    Your LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

    edX

    Are you accessing Labster directly from the Labster.com edX LMS? View more information here or click the button below to log in.

    Faculty Resources

    To access the Faculty Resources page (instructors only) and review Labster simulations, please log in below.