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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Finding Hidden Messages in DNA (Bioinformatics I) by University of California San Diego

952 ratings

About the 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


Jul 29, 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.


Apr 6, 2020

Excellent introduction to bioinformatics. They put a lot of heart and thought into the design of the course. I will continue to use the concepts I've learned in and out of bioinformatics.

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51 - 75 of 229 Reviews for Finding Hidden Messages in DNA (Bioinformatics I)

By Manuel A

Jul 25, 2016

Very good course, but at the same time very hard. Unless you have quite a bit of experience programing, be prepared to spend at least 15 hours a week working on this class. The good news is that if you do spend that time, you will learn a lot.

By Hercules P N

May 9, 2017

Excellent course. It can be tough at times but it is amazingly accessible to all who are genuinely interested. The final assignment was very well prepared and gave a real hands-on experience that puts the course into practice.

By Krishnendu S

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 Alexandr D

May 13, 2022

The course is interesting and challenging. For successful completion, it is necessary to know the basics of Python well. So if you have no experience in programming at all, then you need to be prepared for difficulties.

By Yasmine E H

Jul 4, 2020

I really liked this course and definitely learned a lot. However, I wish that more guidance was provided such as the professors, and not just the peers, answering our questions when Stepik's explanation was not enough.

By Elizaveta F

Aug 20, 2021

though sometimes hard to uderstand, definately improved my skills. i suggest to start this course with some knowledge in programming (in my case i had basic knowledge in python)

By Valeriya K

Apr 13, 2020

Overall, the course is great. However, in the week 4, the quality of pseudocode is not as good, it is much harder to follow. Would love to have had a more extensive explanation.

By Qianhao L

Jul 27, 2017

The algorithms mentioned in this course are explained very well. But still a little bit of programming language is needed. Look forward to the advanced courses.

By Mihai P

Dec 4, 2017

Nice and recommended.

(The final exam was a bit tedious though, with many points repeatedly given simply for "uploading the logo" and not much creative leeway)

By Ahmed A

Apr 30, 2020

Extremely helpful. This course is not limited to teaching us to use Bioinformatic Tools, it also helps us understand deeply the ways in which the tools work.

By Ali J

Aug 17, 2019

Hard class

If you have problems, go ahead and take Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics (University of California San Diego)... Highly suggest that

By Andrew C

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 Jeet N

Sep 23, 2020

Please be clear while explaining the course. it not clear what are they trying to explain and it takes a lot time for us to figure it out.

By Oluwafemi O

Jul 15, 2020

I really enjoyed the course, most especially the code challenges in the honors track. Thanks to the tutors for this wonderful course!

By Yousof Y

Dec 11, 2017




By Sumant K

Oct 8, 2020

Excellent introduction of Bioinformatics to computer scientist. I am committed for the long haul now, on learning Bioinformatics.

By Sonam N K 1

Aug 14, 2020

Loved how hands-on and interactive this course is! I learnt python side-by-side with this course, and it was definitely worth it!

By Oscar J O R

Aug 14, 2018

Really nice and clear course. The hands-on learning is fundamental to create a smooth transition between algorithms and biology.

By Valentýna P

Apr 2, 2018

Well prepared course although sometimes tough due to algorithmization tasks even for people with programming background.

By Hao-Wen S

Feb 11, 2018

The course was challenging and the workload was heavy (for the honors track). Yet very rewarding in the end - thank you!

By Borislav M

Jun 9, 2016

This course offers in terms of knowledge and programming far more than I had expected. Very satisfied with it.

By Nadav P

Jan 19, 2022

Very well deversed, interesting and relevant learning materials for both biologists and computer scientists.

By Amila R

Dec 31, 2019

This is an awesome approach to learn bioinformatics things. Very concise and detailed (not boring) teaching!!

By Patricio C G A

Mar 21, 2018

Excellent! Recommended for any professional in the field that needs a truly understanding of Bioinformatics.

By vibha h

Apr 12, 2017

Wonderful course for anyone who wants to explore bioinformatics. I really liked the programming assignments.