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YBS 2019 | JANUARY 12, 2019 | George Mason University | Workshops


Neuroscience Workshop

The workshop will introduce the central nervous system encompassing the brain and spinal cord and the function of the brain. The three parts of the brain, cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem will be explained. The division of brain into two cerebral hemispheres with four lobes encompassing the hemispheres, occipital, temporal, parietal and frontal lobes and each lobe’s function will be introduced. Brain cells or Neurons, their important parts such as the axon, dendrites will be introduced along with their function and biological neural networks. A hands on activity of building a physical model of the brain and the neuron will be conducted. Scientific software, Sci-kit will be utilized to model action potentials of the neuron. Topics will also cover Neurodegenerative diseases and tumors of the brain and how medical imaging is helping in diagnosis and treatment of these.

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Models in Bioinformatics

The workshop will focus on various problems in bioinformatics and computational biology which can be solved using artificial intelligence and machine learning models. An overview of several such problems will be presented and one of them will be used as a practical example. The students will learn the basics of creating a training set to build the model and a test set to validate the model. Weka, an open source machine learning program, will be used to generate predictive models using different machine learning algorithms and analyze the models' performance.

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Biomedical Bioinformatics Workshop

The workshop will focus on the application of Artificial Neural Networks for the analysis of the complex and massive amounts of medical data being generated such as in high resolution CT scans, patient medical history and genetic information. Application of Machine learning for improving diagnostic quality for myriad medical conditions such as cancer to neurodegenerative disorders will be dwelt upon. Scientists use different techniques for pattern recognition in images and other data. Matlab is utilized to demonstrate how scientists use a shallow neural network to recognize patterns of a tumor in a cancer dataset and diagnose the tumor as malignant or benign.

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Whodunit? Forensics with DNA & Bioinformatics Workshop

The workshop will analyze DNA sequence data to identify the gene(s) involved and identify the context of the samples by linking to PubMed records. You will analyze DNA sequence data using local alignment, global alignment, multiple sequence alignment tools and then use your multiple sequence alignment to estimation evolutionary (phylogenetic) relationships amongst the sequences.  With the phylogeny in hand, you will then solve the forensic mystery and decide if the accused is innocent or guilty of an alleged crime. You will gain experience using a diversity of open-access tools that are all available online.

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