A necessity for science: technology

By Hunter Richer

So here comes the second semester, round two of our phage research. Each of us has isolated a phage, voted on the one we wanted sequenced and now we begin preparations for the annotation of this genome.

Granted, a bacteriophage’s genome is one of simplest that there is, but, still, analyzing and annotating it would be an enormous computational challenge without computers. That being said, it became apparent to me while trying to install the profoundly disagreeable Phamerator software that I literally don’t know a single thing about computers.

For someone aspiring to a career in the biological sciences, this is an issue.

I mean, sure, I can follow directions and am not ashamed to bother the TAs with endless questions about any hiccup, no matter how minute, that may arise while using an unfamiliar program (shoutout to Tegan). But eventually there won’t be directions or TAs to help. What then?

Considering the increasing dependence that scientists have on computers as tools in data analysis and representation, I think it is only a matter of time that some degree of computer science education is incorporated into the curriculum of science majors.

This realization has convinced me to take at least one intro level course in the subject before I graduate. Others who are equally ignorant on the matter should probably consider doing the same.

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