Diploma thesis
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6 weeks ago

Hi! I'm working on my thesis "Genomic characterization of plant profilins". I was supposed to do some lab work but because we're currently in lockdown she told me to do some bioinformatics analysis. The problem is that she is not communicating with me very much and I had only a few bioinformatics lessons. I can do some basic plots in R with ggplot2, and I also know basic syntax of python but that's pretty much it. Do you please have any suggestions on what basic analysis could I do with my very limited knowledge? Thank you very much 🙂

thesis genomic student • 253 views
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6 weeks ago
Mensur Dlakic ★ 15k

When I hear diploma thesis, I am thinking about an undergraduate student doing some kind of honors work that is not absolutely required for them to get a degree. Is that your situation? If so, it may be best to look for a different project or skip it altogether. If this is actually an equivalent of a master's thesis, then abandoning it would be less of an option.

I don't want to pass judgment on your PI because we are hearing only your side of story, but any kind of thesis work requires a good deal of guidance. There is no shame in going to your PI and telling them that you simply do not have enough background to complete a serious bioinformatics analysis. On balance, it may be better to do some limited experiments under lockdown conditions - I didn't think that full lockdown was currently in effect anywhere in the world - compared to spending a much greater effort (without guidance) to bring up your bioinformatics knowledge and in the end still do very little meaningful science.

If you still want to (or have to) give bioinformatics a try, this collection of articles may give you some ideas:

https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/12972/evolution-emerging-functions-and-structure-of-actin-binding-proteins

Since these papers are about actin-binding proteins in general, whatever bioinformatics was done for other proteins may be applicable to profilins as well.