Effective Way of Teaching Bioinformatics to Undergraduates

Bioinformatics is a new and emerging field that utilizes computer technology to manage and analyze biological information. The use of bioinformatics is a shift from the traditional research methods where laboratories were used. Bioinformatics uses computational approaches and skills to solve biological questions (Neumann 2006). The bioinformatics approach is mainly used in studying molecular and cell biology. The use of bioinformatics in the contemporary classrooms is inevitable, thus the teachers need to include this approach in biology classes. There are several effective methods that can be used to teach bioinformatics to undergraduates as will be discussed below.

The first method proposed by (Parke 2013) is the use of high performance computing (HPC) which involves the use of high performance or fast computers to solve scientific or biological problems. An example of a High Performance Computing (HPC) system is the XSEDE that is used for computing and data sharing. HPC is important in teaching bioinformatics because it increases the capacity of collecting Big Data and the data needs to be analyzed accurately and fast. Bioinformatics involves the analysis of large amounts of data that cannot be accomplished with ordinary computing.

In identifying the most appropriate bioinformatics teaching strategy, it is important to know the level of knowledge of the students. Introducing bioinformatics to students requires the use of customized tools and databases that are taught by teacher assistants in a real-time bioinformatics lab (Neumann 2006). For more advanced undergraduate students, more complex tools and databases such as Student Workbench (bioquest.org), which is a web-based tool used to analyze molecular data, can be utilized.

Students, just like scientists and researchers, are users of bioinformatics. The users not only need to be introduced to bioinformatics but also need continuous training to keep them updated with the evolving technology. (Schneider 2010) proposes the use of a comprehensive bioinformatics training that satisfies the range of student interests and learning objectives (2). The training proposed by Schneider et al. is valuable because it integrates the challenges in training such as differences in trainee backgrounds and lack of materials, and provides the necessary solutions to these challenges. (Wood and Gebhardt 2013) propose a different type of training: the European Learning Laboratory is for Life Sciences (ELLS) LearningLAB which enables the exchange of new information locally and internationally, which in turn helps students to access real-life biological data and get exposed to contemporary research methods (4).

Form and Lewitter proposed the use of inquiry-based learning in teaching bioinformatics that involve solving real-world problems with modern skills (1). Inquiry based learning involves the use of questions and scenarios instead of presenting facts to the students, this helps the students learn the subject in their own way. The authors propose rules of teaching bioinformatics that include empowering students, addressing different learning styles and linking activities to pre-existing science curricula.

Students prefer computer based learning compared to traditional learning and they find learning bioinformatics more interesting when working in pairs or groups (Machluf 2016). Even though the students find it more … Read More

The Gadget Addiction – How to Fight the New Menace!

At Gurukul The School, under the leadership of educationist, Mr. Gaurav Bedi, we are committed to creating a healthy environment around the kids, which will allow them to creatively learn and develop holistically. As kids are plugged-in to an array of gadgets like TVs, tablets, social media, video games, and smartphones, etc., this can surely be termed ‘The Gadget Addiction’.

The Adverse Effects of Over Exposure to Gadgets

• Gadget addiction leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which has its own share of adverse effects. Researches show that children spending an average of 4 hours per day watching TV or other gadgets are more likely to be overweight. Obesity is hence, rapidly emerging as one major concern for youth.

• Overexposure to the flashy screens, high volumes, bold colors, and action may cause irritability, restlessness, and frustration among the young minds. This excessive stimulation affects their vision, concentration, and social behavior. They may even adopt a violent. unpredictable behavior in the future.

• With increasing comfort in building relationships online, there is an increasing level of social disconnection found among children, particularly teenagers, which is inhibiting their development of social skills. Their screen-savvy addiction leaves them with fewer personal interactions and lower empathy.

• Reduced analytical and creative thinking is an outcome of relying excessively on technology. It limits their knowledge and learning abilities. Remember how easy access to the calculator on mobiles has impacted your basic Math skills.

‘The Gadgets Detox’

We would recommend you to create ‘The Gadget Detox’ calendar in your family time. Get into a family conversation with your children about what this detox is about. This will have a positive impact on health as well as family bonding. It will also be an opportunity for you to walk your talk as a role model for your children. Here are some exciting ways of going for ‘The Gadget Detox’.

• Discover Fun Activities – Limit the time for TV / Social Media, etc. not only for your kids but for everyone in the family. You can create a time slot for playing outdoors or get along with indoor games like Ludo, Pen Hide and Seek, etc. You can together create a list of games with your children.

• Hobby Time – As we grow up, we get occupied in the daily chores so much that there is hardly time to work on our passion and hobbies. Create hobbies that are of interest to your children and partner with them. You can also ask your kids to create fun quizzes around these hobbies.

• Exploring the World of Reading – Reading is different than studying. It is also different than watching videos or television for recreation. Reading taps analytical and creative thinking which thereby stimulates the right brain development. Simultaneously pick up a book for yourself and exhibit a competitive spirit. They can initiate reading with their favorite book and slowly move towards other genres.

• Meal Together – Being together without the interruptions of TV and mobiles … Read More

Improve Eyesight Naturally With This Simple Eye Exercise Most People Do Wrong

There are ways to improve eyesight naturally by doing simple eye exercises. The problem is most people do not know of these exercises. Here is a simple exercise and how to do it the right way so that you will improve your eyesight naturally.

To improve your eyesight naturally you must do five things: exercise your eyes in the proper way, eat the right types of food, drink plenty of water, keep the alcohol drinking to a moderate level (if at all) and get the right amount of sleep. If you are having vision problems look first at these areas. If there is one that is out of line, correct it and your vision will very likely start to improve.

Before starting any type of exercise program make sure you consult with a physician because they know you best and will advise on what is best for your particular situation.

If may or may not come as a surprise to you that it is very possible to restore or improve vision through the proper exercise. Though not all vision problems will respond to exercise positively-many problems do.

It is a well known fact that the right kind of exercise can have very positive effects on the body. The eyes are no different, however, how many people do you know that exercise their eyes regularly?

One of the biggest problems for our eyes is that during the day they get no rest. That is a lot to ask of any body part. They are put under extreme and constant stress especially if the person works at the computer a lot, like most people do.

Here is a good exercise. It is called palming and should be done a few times per day if your schedule allows.

To do this exercise, try to be seated in a quiet place without distractions. The idea here is that you are going to rest your eyes in a manner that can be very revitalizing. Rub your hands together until they become warm. Now cover your eyes without closing them. Closing your eyes often is done too tight and adds to the stress. Cover your eyes in a manner so that no light gets through. It should be completely black. Now think of a pleasant vision. Keep your eyes covered and allow them to rest for several minutes. Now gradually expose them to the light again. Try this several times per day and see how your vision improves.

Another thing that can be done to improve eyesight is to eliminate objects or tools you use on a daily basis that can cause eye strain.

If you work at a computer for long hours that can be a problem. You can get a bigger screen and that will help. You can make the font of the letters bigger and that will help lessen how much you have to strain to see.… Read More

Is Your Computer Underperforming – Help Me Fix My Computer

Are you in a situation that you feel as though your computer is not running as fast as it could? Is your computer underperforming and every time you attempt to something online it takes you twice as long; because your PC keeps acting up. Well you are not alone; people everywhere complain of under performing computers and thousands turn online to try to solve their problems. This article is written to help you determine why you may be experiencing your PC problem in the first place.

When we get a computer or a laptop we try to make the right decision because we do not want to get a new one again for a long time. But what do you do when your computer seems tired and you hate working on it because it always seems to freeze or crash when you are trying to do something online. Yes it is not as expensive to run out and get a new one; if you have around $400 – $600 to spend. But before you get rid of your computer have you tried to clean it out? Is your computer underperforming; chances are it could be trying to tell you that it is time to clean it out.

Most people do not realize that their computer requires a monthly maintenance. The only time that they begin to notice a problem with their computer is when they notice that it becomes slow and it keeps freezing up when they open up the internet or they notice that it is slow when trying to go from screen to screen. No matter what you are experiencing your computer is sending you messages that it requires a maintenance.

Now to perform the maintenance; you will not need to bring your tools out or unscrew anything to fix something. All you have to do is scan your PC. Many sites online will enable you to scan your computer for free and the scan will clean out any clutter that may be on your computer it will also detect to make sure that your computer has not been infected with viruses or any other kinds of bugs that can be harmful. All you have to do is hit “start” and the site will do everything for you. Once you scan your computer you may be able to notice an improvement in the way your computer performs. If you do not notice an improvement then your registry may need to be cleaned. However once the scan is completed it will inform you of the further steps you may want to take to get your PC running back to its fastest capacity.

With school right around the corner; if your computer is underperforming it is time to make sure that it is running at its fullest capability. This will make using it for your research or browsing for information to get your papers done more easily. You do not have to spend a lot of money just to get … Read More

Considering A Career In Computer Game Design

Every hard core gaming fan dreams of having a career in computer game design. What could be more fun and exciting for a computer game fanatic than being paid for designing your own computer games?

Since I am a certified computer games addict, I am also guilty of occasionally fantasizing about having a career in the computer game design industry.

The computer game design industry is huge so there are plenty of opportunities for those who want a job in this field. The downside is landing a job in this industry is extremely difficult and requires a comprehensive knowledge of programming languages.

Earning a degree in computer science is a good first step, but is in itself no easy task. I have seven childhood friends who took up computer science in college, and only one of them made it through. It is a grueling major filled with tedious programming exercises and advanced mathematics classes.

If you enjoy programming and can tolerate the tediousness that comes with it, then computer game design may be something that you can do. Having a genuine love for computer games can also motivate you as well.

My childhood friend who finished his computer science degree is currently employed in a computer game design company, and is absolutely in love with his job. However, he shared with me that it did not match his expectations.

Modern computer games are enormous programs that can take a few years to complete. In its early years, the computer game design industry only needed a few people to design computer games. These days, computer gaming companies have several production teams consisting of up to 100 people working simultaneously on different aspects of a particular game.

If you manage to become a capable programmer, you can find countless opportunities in the computer gaming industry. Experienced programmers who have worked on several popular computer games can demand a large salary and have a big influence over the direction of a game.

If you are not fond of programming, you can still find other jobs in the computer game design industry. While programmers have an advantage, employers are also looking for good writers and artists. Writers and graphic designers are also needed to complete a good computer game but they can’t expect to earn as much as a seasoned programmer.… Read More