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Big stage for small disciplines: Bioinformatics on the university campus

On October 29, 80 pupils from the Georg Cantor Special High School for Mathematics and Natural Sciences got a guided tour at the IPB and the Weinberg Campus to gain an insight into day-to-day research activities. Particularly the relation to the various metabolomics projects at the IPB and to bioinformatics questions was of special interest, because the event took place within the joint project "168 hours of bioinformatics". The project, initiated in spring 2019 by scientists from MLU, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research iDiv, the Environmental Research Centre UFZ and the Leibniz Institutes IPB, IPK and IAMO, is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Rectors' Conference as part of the "Kleine Fächer Woche" for underrepresented subjects.

With a variety of offers for learners and lecturers, the initiative aims to bring bioinformatics and its potential more into the focus of general perception. High school students and teachers not only learn interesting facts about the study program but also about the opportunities and career perspectives of graduates. In February 2020, the organizers will discuss the success of the "168 hours of bioinformatics" initiative at a final symposium.

With Biobyte in recent years and the current information event, the first milestones have been laid for this success and major steps taken to pave the way for the future generation of scientists. The students of the Georg-Cantor-Gymnasium enjoyed comprehensive information about the relatively young interdisciplinary subject between the digital revolution and the life sciences.

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