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Functional and evolutionary genomics

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E10_Functional and evolutionary genomics_schedule_2021
Master in Life Science, ENS

Hugues Roest Crollius, CNRS-ENS


Hours: 30h (20h course + 10h practicals)
Credits: 3 ECTS
Semester: 1st semester
Number of students: 12 à 24


Students will become familiar with concepts of molecular evolution in the context of functional genomics and genome evolution.
The course will include critical discussions on the technologies and bioinformatics methods that enable biological conclusions to be drawn from large genome wide datasets. Problems will be illustrated with classical and recent applications in the fields of genome analysis of modern and ancient humans, and comparative analysis of animal and plant genomes.
The main topics will be approached both using formal background reviews and illustration by selected speakers from the research community.
Students will gain a practical experience in the interpretation of large datasets.


The course will cover systematic studies of the function of genomic DNA (ex: ENCODE project), the evolution of vertebrate and plant gene repertoire, the genomic and paleogenomic aspects of human genome variability through the study of projects such as HapMap, the 1000 Genome Project, the Neanderthal genome, etc.
The principles underlying the identification of episodes of positive selection in the history of a population or species will be covered, as well as genome wide studies on the identification of conserved non-coding elements and their function (cis-regulatory enhancers, non-coding RNAs, etc).
Examples from recent publications will be examined with the students and critically appraised.
Practical sessions will rely on open source software, including the Galaxy platform and on the writing of small programs in a script language.


This course is organised as one full week, generally with formal presentations in the morning, and research seminars or practical sessions in the afternoon.
The evaluation will be based on a written report.

Teaching team:

Hugues Roest Crollius (ENS-CNRS, Paris)
One or two invited lecturers from the research community.