UC Merced Update

Genomics Undergrads Annotate Bacteria for Government Project


As biology Professor Carolin Frank put it, her undergraduate genomics students last year didn't do cook book lab experiments.

Instead of following instructions that will lead to a certain result, the 20 students worked on the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute's project to annotate the genome of a particular bacterium.

Frank was accepted as a faculty collaborator in the “Adopt a Genome Program” late last year, allowing the students to annotate the genome of atopobium parvulum, a bacterium commonly found in a person's mouth.

Each student in Frank’s class was assigned a segment of the genome to annotate using a computer.

Dominique Hall, an undergraduate student studying molecular and cell biology, said she signed up for the class because she wanted to do more research that involved computational biology.
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