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Learner Reviews & Feedback for DNA Decoded by McMaster University

1,214 ratings

About the Course

Are you a living creature? Then, congratulations! You’ve got DNA. But how much do you really know about the microscopic molecules that make you unique? Why is DNA called the “blueprint of life”? What is a “DNA fingerprint”? How do scientists clone DNA? What can DNA teach you about your family history? Are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) safe? Is it possible to revive dinosaurs by cloning their DNA? DNA Decoded answers these questions and more. If you’re curious about DNA, join Felicia Vulcu and Caitlin Mullarkey, two biochemists from McMaster University, as they explore the structure of DNA, how scientists cracked the genetic code, and what our DNA can tell us about ourselves. Along the way, you’ll learn about the practical techniques that scientists use to analyze our genetic risks, to manipulate DNA, and to develop new treatments for a range of different diseases. Then, step into our virtual lab to perform your own forensic DNA analysis of samples from a crime scene and solve a murder....

Top reviews


Sep 14, 2020

STUDY BUT FUN!! Make me now more curious about DNA and the amazing information that i can get about my ancestors by testing and analyzing my DNA. I never get bored since the week 1 till the end week!


Dec 19, 2022

I have gained lot of information form this course. And the instructors and the method of their teaching is really awesome. I would like to say thank you to the instructors and thank you to coursera.

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1 - 25 of 355 Reviews for DNA Decoded

By Ellis K P

May 29, 2019

I have taken several courses on coursera but I never forget this one. This is the only course my six years old boy enjoy the videos more than me. Thanks for a very educative and interactive videos.

By Damon T R

Aug 25, 2018

The most fun I have ever had with a course! Both professors have an amazing talent for conveying information. I hope that they will teach another class!

By Aedrian A

Sep 16, 2021

I took this course, with medical and graduate school-level understanding of the topics covered, primarily to get ideas on how such complex material can be taught to teenagers and/or early-in-major/non-major college students. The presentation of the material is creative, and the emphasis on “broad strokes” or key points, that are required at minimum to grasp more intricate concepts down the line (and beyond the scope of this course), is delivered clearly. I highly appreciate the energy of the presenters throughout the course, but I have to admit that there are few moments that I cringed with the humor (this is understandable, since I believe that I do not belong to the target audience of this offering, anyway). Furthermore, this course has also allowed me to re-acknowledge the basics that are often taken for granted or minded fleetingly as you work on/study more complex molecular biology concepts. The added/optional references are also generally topnotch. With regard to relevant history of the field, I have learned new details on the people, circumstances and processes that led to some key discoveries. Unfortunately, some reference links no longer lead to useful content and are due for editing/updating by the course creators. Also, I encountered fatal issues in attempting to use the virtual laboratory simulator, which I thought is an added layer to ensure driving home important points particularly in the step-by-step conduct of techniques. I wish that I have taken a material like this 15 years ago. All in all, I highly recommend this course to anyone of all ages who wish to have an overview of molecular biology that demands no prerequisite knowledge. In particular, I hope kids and teens can take this course so they can be properly introduced to the potential this field can offer them should they embark on this path.

By Lakshmi S

May 15, 2020

It was really a fantastic course. It was so easy completing each week's lessons. And I gained more knowledge from the supplementary materials. And huge thanks to Dr.Caitlin Mullarkey and Dr.Felicia Vulcu. They made this course so interesting and fun to attend. They are really great at teaching... Looking for more works from you

By Dhriti S

Jul 9, 2019

It is an extremely interesting course for a beginner to understand the concept of DNA and genetic engineering . The concepts start from the basics but build up to complex concepts . Engaging and interesting and informative for someone who might want to pursue a career in research in cell biology

By Thana S

Jan 25, 2021

The course structure is well organized and not too difficult to learn. It starts from high school biology and continues on upper level. At the end, I gain lots of knowledge from the course. I really like several medias used in the journey including VDO from both fantastic instructors, VDO from TED talk and others, articles, and most fascinating virtual lab that anyone can have a glimpse of what's like in the real genetic lab. Much appreciated.

By Srinivas V

Jan 24, 2021

Felicia and Caitlin were awesome in the way the course contents were presented. I have a background in computers and I know nothing about human biology, let alone decoding the DNA. Both professors have perked up my interest in this subject. Thank You for sharing your knowledge with us and Thank You Coursera for making it happen.

By Shrabani P

Jan 30, 2021

I absolutely adored this course. Perhaps one of the best interactive, intuitive and ingenious courses I've ever taken. The professors were simply brilliant and their mode of subject delivery was fun, crisp and precise! A great place to start if you want to understand fundamentals of genetics!

By Juan P

Aug 5, 2020

One of the best courses I've taken. It's true is a pretty basic course but it has wonderful teachers that are really passionate and charismatic. If you want a brief and basic introduction to the DNA world, this is a perfect option.

By Gabriel T

Sep 15, 2020

STUDY BUT FUN!! Make me now more curious about DNA and the amazing information that i can get about my ancestors by testing and analyzing my DNA. I never get bored since the week 1 till the end week!

By Swapna A

Dec 20, 2022

I have gained lot of information form this course. And the instructors and the method of their teaching is really awesome. I would like to say thank you to the instructors and thank you to coursera.

By Abhishek N J

Jan 17, 2020

this course was awesome. Everything in this course was minutely described. All my doubts were cleared. I want to know DNA in more detail now. So looking forward for some advance courses from here.

By Farbod -

Jun 8, 2018

Highly recommended!

Awesome method of presenting a classic, boring , course.

By Anurup M (

Jan 15, 2019

It was fun and so addictive that I completed it within a day

By Mariano S F

May 2, 2020

Great course! I found the contents very basic but I do understand that the course scope was limited. The two teachers were splendid, getting to the point and showing very accurate explanations. The videos are also awesome; neither very long nor very short and very clear descriptions and definitions.

Many thanks!!


By Maripaz C

Feb 10, 2018

The course was actually very helpful to give me a brief overview of the main key elements of DNA. It IS a bit cheesy (which took its fifth star), but it explains all information in a very personal way.

By Anam J

Sep 6, 2018

It is an interesting and easy course for begginers

By Steve P

Feb 17, 2021

The instructors were energetic, knowledgeable, and engaging. They made the subject matter very interesting. I highly recommend this as a good introductory into the DNA subject and its history. The supplementary/supporting resources were quite good as well. Some minor improvements: 1) a couple of the links to videos are no longer active so they should be removed or updated; and 2) I found the Labster app (simulations) frustrating at times and did not see the value-add. However, the accompanying "Theory" material was first rate. Overall, high marks for this course. THANKS!

By Abhinav M

Nov 20, 2023

The contents of the course were just what I was looking for. It gave me an intro to what is DNA, and also a brief overview of how scientists go about working with the DNA. The concepts explained in the course were fairly engaging and detailed. It was apparent that the instructors put in a lot of effort to make sure the course is interesting and the attendees enjoy going through the course and don't zone out. I went through the course out of interest, and the concepts were taught in such a manner that I don't mind going over it again.

By Папышева А С

Nov 5, 2020

I would like to thank Coursera and McMaster University for this amazing opportunity to take such a unique course "DNA Decoded". I enjoyed every minute of it. I really appreciate all the hard work done for creating this course and, of course, it wouldn't be so wonderful without Caitlin Mullarkey and Felicia Vulcu. You made these 4 weeks unforgettable. All the material I've learned from you and from supplementary material is priceless and I can't thank you enough fot that!

By Sona P

Apr 14, 2020

This was my most favorite Coursera course so far. Very informative and enjoyable to watch. I got the answers to all my questions I had before starting the course. Both of the girls are fun to watch, as well as give excellent scientific explanation to all the topics. They change the stereotype that scientists supposed to be boring and serious. I also loved their virtual labs, which was one of the essential parts of the course to really visualize the processes.

By Sofia T M

Dec 26, 2023

Increíble curso, me enseñó más de lo que espereba. Parte de lo básico hasta llegar a cosas más complejas. Las explicaciones de la Dra. Felicia Vulcu y la Dra. Caitlin Mullarkey son sencillas y divertidas. Los pequeños cuestionarios después de ver un video reforzaban la explicación y los conceptos, las actividades opcionales como los laboratorios fueron muy buenas y el contenido adicional ayudaba a ahondar más en el tema. Un curso 100% recomendable.

By Md. E H

Jun 11, 2020

Thanks to the instructors mam . It was an amazing course. It was my 5th course in coursera. I suggest all of you do this course. The instructors give us lesson by making fun. I is the most interesting part in this course. It is the most interesting course in coursera. I also fallen in love of those instructors mam. They are amazing. I am now giving its rating 5 out of 5. After completing this course I hope you also will fairly give full rating .


Jul 20, 2020

It was excelent, I loved the course. I want to learn more with you, please do other course like this... with other things about genetics!! Its important for me and the truth is that i didn`t understand many concepts until i did It. Thank you for your time and your excelent work. I`m from Colombia and I learned more with you than with my own teachers. I.m also improving my english. Infinitely grateful with you!

By Alexandra G V

Mar 22, 2021

I loved it. It was super funny and informative, the intructors are very nice and they keep you focused. It's very useful to see videos in the lectures illustrating what has just been said and they repeat the most important things throughout the course so you wont forget them. You learn so easily that when doing the quizzes you don't have to look at your notes or return to the lectures. Perfect