This summer, MarPipe ESRs attended a 1-day Bioinformatics workshop organised by the School of Microbiology at the University of Cork (UCC) in Ireland. The workshop was held by two tutors, Dr. Marcus Claesson from UCC (http://apc.ucc.ie/marcus-claesson/) and Professor Marnix Medema from Wageningen University (https://www.wur.nl/en/Persons/Marnix-dr.-MH-Marnix-Medema.htm), who covered major topics, such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technologies, microbiome analysis and bioinformatics tools (e.g. antiSMASH) for new natural products discovery.

In the framework of the workshop, the students had the opportunity to receive hands-on training on handling NGS data and interpreting the outputs of various tools and prioritising gene clusters for experimental characterisation. Typical practical challenges were also discussed leading to a better understanding of the advantages and drawbacks of the different software packages and their performance in identifying biosynthetic gene clusters of new natural products.