Millenium Science Summer School of the Institute of Education
July 17-21st 2000
to the bioinformatics group in the
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at University College London
The links below are a short and simple introduction to genomics and protein structures.
Feel free to follow links on the pages and ask
questions if you are interested in something particular.
Genomes are now routinely sequenced, and there are a few large centres
involved in the human and other
The Sanger Centre is in England, outside Cambridge. (Click on
This page is the part of the genome repository of one of the large sequence
databases in the US.
Once a gene or a genome has been sequenced experimentally, the sequence is sent to this database
and deposited there.
That way, both experimental and computational scientists everywhere can access the sequence.
This is a front page for acces to the E. coli genome. The round circle
represents its chromosome, the circular DNA
in bacteria that is the genome. Each line is a gene.
Click on a part of the circular chromosome to get down to the level of
individual genes, and then click on a gene
and explore the genome!
2. Protein Structures
Most genes encode a protein. The amino acid chain of a protein adopts a
3-dimensional structure made up of two types of elements: alpha-helices and beta-strands.
The CATH database is developed in this laboratory, and organises all protein
a hierarchical manner.
Choose the Browse or Search Classification option.
The 4 different levels represent different elements of secondary structure
of a protein.
The top right panel describes the sublevels of Mainly Alpha structures.
Click on the binoculars to see an example of a mainly-alpha protein.
Go further down to see mainly-beta proteins via the binoculars. Can you see the difference?
To see a special type of protein that binds DNA and controls genes on
the DNA, click on the
pictures for the entry 2gli. Can you tell which part is DNA and which part is protein?
b) Proteins even move: Movie Gallery of Macromolecular Motions at Yale
Click on the "morph ID" in the left column, then click the
"Play 2D Movie" button.
Written by Sarah Teichmann, firstname.lastname@example.org