I have been working with a group of smart high-school students, and they are raising money to do RNAseq experiment on salmonberry. We will be working together to extract RNA from roots, stems, leaves and fruits of the salmonberry plants, convert each RNA sample into cDNA and get it sequenced. Subsequently, the kids will do all bioinformatics analysis to reconstruct and annotate genes, compute gene expression and investigate the health benefits of berries.
This is a fascinating project that helps our young generation learn about the latest developments in genomics through a real hands-on project. As you all know, biology changed rapidly over the last decade due to the advent of high-throughput sequencing, but high-school biology curriculum is still from the old era. Young students going into life science or medical career do not know that computer and coding have become an integral part of biology. This project is a modest attempt to introduce knowledge about the cutting-edge skills in genomics at the high-school level.
I encourage all of you to be part of this project. They are raising only a small amount of money ($5000) so that they can do the RNA extraction and sequencing. Also, if you cannot support them financially, please do spread the message about their indiegogo project around. These kids are very intelligent and motivated, and they are our future.