Practical Python for beginners: a biochemist’s guide

An increase in the complexity and scale of biochemical data has created many opportunities for biochemists to exploit data visualisation, modelling and machine learning methods in knowledge discovery. Leveraging such power requires at least some coding which can be a daunting prospect for many biochemists.

The online course aims to support researchers at any career stage to learn the core skills which underlie the application of Python to complex, real-world research problems. ‘Practical Python for beginners: a Biochemist’s guide’ was developed by an experienced team of Python trainers and early career researchers with first-hand experience of learning Python for biochemical problems, based at the University of York.

The course is designed to take approximately 5 hours and is divided into small chunks that can be tackled at the learner’s own pace. Learners have the opportunity to interact with each other and the course trainers. No previous coding experience is required.

The successful learner will be able to:

  • explain the rationale for scripting
  • use the IPython command line as a calculator and to assign variables
  • use the basic data types and some simple functions
  • create lists and select elements from them
  • explain what a library is, import a Python library and use functions it contains
  • read biochemical data from a file into a Python
  • understand computing concepts such as what is meant by the working directory, absolute and relative paths and be able to apply these concepts to data import
  • analyse and visualise biochemical data using powerful Python packages such as NumPy, Pandas, Sklearn and Matplotlib


Nov 02 2020


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Biochemical Society


Biochemical Society
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