I am looking for a presentation topic in bioinformatics. I haven't occupied with this field yet, but I find it really interesting.

It would be nice if the topic would include an algorithm. What source do you suggest to me?

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    $\begingroup$ as Joe Haeley suggested you can take a look at alignment algorithms, another algorithm which is quite a lot used is BLAST (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLAST ) $\endgroup$
    – KingBoomie
    Jan 9, 2017 at 22:31
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    $\begingroup$ This is not a question about biology. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Jan 9, 2017 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ This question is open-ended, allowing for many possible answers. This is not an appropriate question for SE. $\endgroup$
    – Galen
    Jan 10, 2017 at 1:57

2 Answers 2


A fairly easy to get to grips with topic, but that digs down to the meat of bioinformatics algorithms, is sequence alignment. Read around Needleman-Wunsch and Smith-Waterman alignment algorithms.

Wikipedia will be a perfectly adequate starting place :) - steal all the references at the bottom of the page!

I don't know how strong you maths ability is, but you'll find quite a few equations while you dig around in the bases of bioinformatics algorithms!


It depends on what you define as introduction. For a start you could always do what Joe Healy suggested and read around to see if it is a field that suits you.

If you want a textbook I found An Introduction to Bioinformatics by Jones and Pevzner to be indeed a great introduction to bioinformatics. It treats you like an absolute beginner and I think you will be able to follow no matter your programming or math abilities.

Now, if you want to get your hands dirty I can't recommend Project Rosalind enough. It introduces you to a variety of (mainly) programming problems while simultaneously teaching you the corresponding biologic concepts.

Phillip Compeau (co-founder of Rosalind) along with Pavel Pevzner have released a textbook of their own: Bioinformatics Algorithms: An Active-Learning Approach, which I admit I haven't read, but it is generally well recieved.

But before all that, I suggest to take a small introduction to Python (if you haven't already) and get familiar with the basic libraries (mainly BioPython). Perl is also a language you would like to consider, but far less beginner-friendly.

  • $\begingroup$ Cool I'd heard of Project Euler, but not Project Rosalind $\endgroup$
    – Joe Healey
    Jan 10, 2017 at 9:24

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