GTAC Program: Using Bioinformatics to Investigate the Spread of Disease
The following Year 10 students participated in a Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series event for high ability students: Sienna C, Sienna D, Kai H, Kelvin H, Alex J, Daniyal K, Sahra R, Isabella R, Alex S & Natasha Z.
This program allowed the students to evaluate the risk of different species becoming infected by coronavirus using bioinformatics. It enabled students to learn how genetic information is translated, to build proteins and how the function of a protein is related to its structure.
Students were able to access online programs and databases to investigate how coronavirus infects animals. They were also able to make their own inquiry into animals of their own choice, to evaluate the risk of coronavirus infection.
This program introduced our students to the most current online bioinformatics tools which are widely used in research and medicine to help understand DNA sequences and evolutionary trees.
Ms Maria Lelekakis
The GTAC program was an educative online lesson which focused on how diseases spread throughout the community. During the first hour of the program, two representatives from GTAC discussed the structure of SARS-CoV-2 and the method of the spread of disease. The second half of the lesson investigated the susceptibility of animals to the coronavirus infection where we compared different animals’ risks of becoming infected. Overall, this program provided an insight into the structure of viruses which furthered our knowledge of how COVID-19 transmits throughout the community.
My experience in the Bioinformatics program was quite enjoyable. I learnt so many new things in such a short amount of time. I liked how it was quite interactive and got everyone thinking. I would definitely recommend this program for those interested in learning more about DNA and biology.
I really enjoyed participating within this incursion as we were able to not only break down DNA sequences, but investigate those affected by COVID-19, to give us a better understanding of how it works as well as how it spreads throughout our cells in a more sophisticated way. Definitely something I would do again.
The program was very informative and interesting. It reinforced a lot of things I learnt, along with teaching me many new things. I really liked learning about DNA sequencing and how it differs from RNA.
I believe that the GTAC Bioinformatics Program was very beneficial. I learnt various new things such as how the ACE-2 protein is associated with the infection of coronavirus, the severity of zoonotic diseases and the risks of certain animals becoming victim to the coronavirus. As the program taught me a lot about the coronavirus, I recommend this to any students that are willing to expand their knowledge of science.