I'm a first-year graduate finishing up a rotation in a plant biology lab and pretty decided about joining this lab for my thesis work. I'm really interested in getting involved in bioinformatics. I did a little bit when I was in undergrad about three years ago, but not using the knowledge I acquired from that lab, I lost a lot of my chops. Anyways, this is my first time working with plants (Arabidopsis thaliana to be exact), so I'm not too familiar with the bioinformatics tools in my field. Any suggestions for how to get started? I've recently installed Python and PyCharm and started learning some basic commands, but I really want to practice using some real data (and if it's from my lab that would be even better). The problem is, I don't even know where to start. I've heard from other lab members about microarray datasets that are available, but they're always in the form of Excel spreadsheets, which indicates to me they've been processed. One of the differentially expressed gene datasets, for example, is a huge table with signal log ratios (apparently this is easier to convey gene expression levels). So how do I get raw data? And any advice on how to begin askinq questions about my field? One of the questions I'm interested in digging deeper with is finding which transcription factors are upstream of a particular transcription factor I'm focusing on now (called nam). I'm not even sure if this is a good question! But I figured I'd get started somewhere.
Thank you to those who took the time to read this post. I'm excited to hear your advice and get started on my journey to becoming a bioinformatician!