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27104 The Scientific Communication of Comparative Genomics

Danish title:

Sammenligning af genomer og videnskabelig kommunikation


Point( ECTS )


Course type:

Taught under open university


E5A (wed 8-12) and E1B (thurs 13-17)
The course will not be available for 2013. Please refer to course 27105 from June 2014


Campus Lyngby

Scope and form:

The main emphasis of the course is two-fold: how to compare bacterial genome sequences and how to clearly explain scientific results to an educated audience by writing a scientific paper suitable for publication. Students will choose their topic to work with from a set of bacterial genome sequences; results of comparisons will be presented by small groups of students in journal clubs, a poster and finally as a contribution to a manuscript.

Duration of Course:

13 weeks

Date of examination:

E1B, E3B

Type of assessment:



Previous Course:


Not applicable together with:

Qualified Prerequisites:

General course objectives:

The aim of this course is to learn how to compare a set of bacterial genomes. Students that have followed this course should be able to understand and communicate the results of the investigation of their microorganisms of interest to others using three different formats: a journal club report critiquing a recently published paper, a poster showing comparisons of bacterial genomes, and finally by writing a comparative genomics scientific paper which is formatted and suitable for publication.

Students that fully have followed the course are able to:
• Take the DNA sequence from a bacteria genome, find RNA and protein encoding genes and compare these genes with those obtained from other genome sequences.
• Read, understand and critique a paper published in the scientific literature.
• Give a brief description of a new discovery in the field.
• Design and produce a poster suitable for showing at a scientific meeting.
• Plan the management and organization of a paper that could be published in a scientific journal.

Learning objectives:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
  • Decide which and how many genomes to compare, based on questions to be answered.
  • Obtain data for published genome sequences.
  • Calculate and evaluate basic sequence parameters.
  • Analyze DNA structures in a genome.
  • Compare RNA- and protein-encoding genes across several genomes.
  • Read and critique a scientific paper.
  • Outline and design a scientific poster.
  • Plan and write a scientific paper.


This course presents three different methods for the communication of scientific findings. During the group projects, the students will learn how to critique a scientific paper (journal club), how to make and present a poster, and how to write a paper. This will be supported by lectures on scientific publications, poster design and presentation, and manuscript writing.

Different disciplines dealing with comparison of microbial genomes will be brought together to produce a manuscript. Specifically the lectures will deal with: introduction to genomics; computational analyses of sequenced microbial genomes; what defines a microbial species; how to choose a set of genomes to compare; and microbial communities and their interactions.


Teaching material: COMPUTING FOR COMPARATIVE GENOMICS: Bioinformatics
for Microbiologists, by David W. Ussery, Stefano Borini, and Trudy M.
Wassenaar (Springer, 2009).

Green challenge participation:

Please contact the teacher for information on whether this course gives the student the opportunity to prepare a project that may participate in DTU´s Study Conference on sustainability, climate technology, and the environment (GRØN DYST). More infor http://www.groendyst.dtu.dk/english/Conference/Practical-info/Start-up


David Ussery, Building 221, room 002, Ph. (+45) 4525 2488 , dave@cbs.dtu.dk


27 Department of Systems Biology

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Last updated: 14. juni, 2013