The rise of "-omics" related technologies makes it essential for students to have experience working with large bioinformatics data sets. Although”-omic” datasets are complex and abstract, effective instruction can be improved when students see the direct connections between the data on a computer screen and the results of "wet lab" experimentation. Here we describe the use of protein mass spectrometry as a means for students to gain experience in connecting bioinformatic data with work done at the lab bench. Course-based Research Experiences (CREs) based on these techniques are accessible to institutions of all types as a result of rapidly declining costs for whole genome and proteome analysis. Our implementation is within a CRE based on viral infection of a bacterial host; however, this basic paradigm may be applied to other experimental systems of interest.
Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
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Wolyniak, Michael J., Reyna, Nathan S., Plymale, Ruth, Pope, Welkin H., and Westholm, Daniel E. "Mass Spectrometry as a Tool to Enhance '-omics' Education," Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, American Society for Microbiology, 19:1 (2018) Feb. 16. https://doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1459.