Chevron Left
Back to Finding Hidden Messages in DNA (Bioinformatics I)

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

949 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.


Sep 10, 2019

The material of the course is simply exquisitely presented. The concepts are clear, easy to grasp. You won't be a bioinformatician after doing this course, but you'll make the first step.

Filter by:

176 - 200 of 228 Reviews for Finding Hidden Messages in DNA (Bioinformatics I)


May 1, 2020

The course was great. I would recommend it to anyone interested. There are a few things to fix, especially on the external toolkit.

By Shabnam S

May 14, 2020

Some of the Stepik material needs to be updated and put in more clear and simpler language. Otherwise, great learning curve!


Jun 8, 2020

The programming assignments could have been described more appropriately otherwise the course material was quite great.

By Juana S L

Apr 22, 2018

I couldn't finish successfully last question but I don't know why. I believe I understand the meaning of the question

By Cagdas U

Jan 4, 2019

The answers are stale. MEME tool results don't match what they expect. It takes a while to find students to review.

By Hariz S

Jul 4, 2021

Please do Biology meet Programmer before doing this course. A bit leap even for biologist with some coding skill

By Kenny S

Apr 11, 2021

the course is great, extermely informative and educational, just takes a lot of time to grok all the information

By Максим

Mar 6, 2017

Есть недоработки, но вместе с комментариями других учащихся, можно разобраться в сути заданий

By Amruth B

May 3, 2021

Good course! However, some parts of the honors track were too challenging for a biologist.

By Nghia L

Aug 15, 2020

Some parts are written in a way that is very hard to understand, but overall good course

By Barby S

Jan 19, 2022


Excellent material and teachers. I can't follow them

By TeriLynn S

Jul 9, 2018

The two platform format is quite complex. But the material is excellent!

By Jack C

Jan 5, 2020

The course was very informative, but at points it was very confusing.

By Aditya B

Aug 5, 2016

Very well explained for both biologists and computer scientists.

By 정문필

May 7, 2020

Best lecture to dive into Bioinformatics first time!

By Iqra A

Aug 3, 2020

Not made for a biologist but for a programming man.

By Shiv H

Sep 28, 2018

Good Course but at times difficult to understand.

By Nikhil Y

Apr 19, 2020

it was an amazing course!!

By Meng Z

Mar 4, 2019

The course is great!

By Shiyamaladevi R S 2

Nov 4, 2021


By Todd T

Nov 9, 2017


By Alejandro M H

Apr 25, 2022

I liked this course more years ago, when I agreed without the possibility of having a certificate. Today I register it to have the certificate and I am surprised how much it has changed. Many videos were removed and you practically depend on reading the material on Stepik. Perhaps the biggest problem is the lack of clarity of the pseudocodes and the disaster of having to wait for someone to review your assignment to complete the course. It is unbelievable that in 2022 that will be a limitation to obtain the certificate.

By Evgeny T

Feb 9, 2017

To be completely honest, I was expecting more from this course. One big setback is that the course material does not really go into biochemical fundamentals of what is going on, and instead jumps straight into algorithms. This might work for someone with enough background in biology who needs to learn to code. I, on the other side, have already had some exposure to software development and algorithms, but when Pavel mentions gene expression and transcription I have a very vague idea what he is talking about.

By Zhuoxi Y

May 3, 2021

The difficulty of this course is not at all beginners from a biologist's perspective. The difficulty of this course increases drastically from week 1 to week 2. I kindly suggest that the course coordinator to review the content as some students have pointed out that there are certain errors here and there in the stepik tool's content. Another point is that certain terminology presented in stepik are quite poorly explained.

By Wesley R

Oct 11, 2020

Course was easy to follow and the explanations made sense from the instructors about half the time. The other half, the coding sections and pseudocode would be horribly confusing. The sections about random motif finding and gibbs sampling were particularly frustrating. I would say some coding experience is necessary to do well in this course in a reasonable timeframe.