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Finding Hidden Messages in DNA (Bioinformatics I), University of California San Diego

4.7
447 ratings
95 reviews

About this Course

Named a top 50 MOOC of all time by Class Central! This course begins a series of classes illustrating the power of computing in modern biology. Please join us on the frontier of bioinformatics to look for hidden messages in DNA without ever needing to put on a lab coat. In the first half of the course, we investigate DNA replication, and ask the question, where in the genome does DNA replication begin? We will see that we can answer this question for many bacteria using only some straightforward algorithms to look for hidden messages in the genome. In the second half of the course, we examine a different biological question, when we ask which DNA patterns play the role of molecular clocks. The cells in your body manage to maintain a circadian rhythm, but how is this achieved on the level of DNA? Once again, we will see that by knowing which hidden messages to look for, we can start to understand the amazingly complex language of DNA. Perhaps surprisingly, we will apply randomized algorithms, which roll dice and flip coins in order to solve problems. Finally, you will get your hands dirty and apply existing software tools to find recurring biological motifs within genes that are responsible for helping Mycobacterium tuberculosis go "dormant" within a host for many years before causing an active infection....

Top reviews

By JL

Jul 30, 2018

This course is very very good. Challenging at times. It does not hold your hand at all times and sometimes requires research to solve some of the problems, but I like the community and the approach.

By LL

Nov 13, 2017

Very tough but rewarding class. The programming part was easy, the algorithms kicked my butt. Love the challenge and can't wait to take the rest!!! Such an interesting field!

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91 Reviews

By Fish

May 13, 2019

I can learn a lot from the simple samples but I think I still have a long way.

By Melinda Barkhuizen

Apr 30, 2019

This course is really frustrating if you are not a computer scientist.

The 'language-neutral pseudocode' given on the computer science tasks is buggy and hard to figure out and there is no support or solutions. This course is just hours spent rerunning your code by brute force to pray you get to their answer to pass.

Work is not explained well. The only reason to take this course is that its supported by UCSD.

By Pavel Oliynyk

Apr 12, 2019

Very good course to start learning bioinformatics

By Gener Aviles Rodriguez

Apr 08, 2019

Good course, very solid community.

By Andrew Cole

Mar 29, 2019

I feel this was a good introduction to bioinformatics. It can be a little confusing sometimes, but there was nothing I could not figure out in the end

By Krishnendu Sinha

Mar 28, 2019

Exceptionally beautiful course. Must be for those want to start career in bioinformatics. But prior basic knowledge in any programming language would be appropriate if someone wants to extract every aspect of this course.

By Meng Zhang

Mar 04, 2019

The course is great!

By Victor Calderon

Mar 03, 2019

Loving it so far.

By Fabio James Fehr

Feb 17, 2019

Some activities were unnecessary but coding up the algorithms was a treat :)

By Mousa Jafar Alhaddad

Feb 12, 2019

A really nice course that links biology and programming