About this Course
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Flexible deadlines

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Intermediate Level

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English
Learners taking this Course are
  • Biologists
  • Scientists
  • Medical Doctors
  • Professors
  • Researchers

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Intermediate Level

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
18 minutes to complete

Welcome to Engineering Life: SynBio, Bioethics & Public Policy

1 video (Total 3 min), 1 reading
1 video
1 reading
Syllabus: Engineering Life10m
2 hours to complete

Recombinant DNA Technology: Science and History

8 videos (Total 105 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
8 videos
A Brief History of rDNA15m
A Brief History of Asilomar & the RAC19m
Interview: Dr. LeRoy Walters (Part 1)19m
Interview: Dr. LeRoy Walters (Part 2)21m
Interview: Dr. LeRoy Walters (Part 3)12m
Relevant Contemporary Policy Context5m
The Emergence of SynBio9m
1 reading
Week 1 Readings10m
1 practice exercise
Week 1 Quiz30m
Week
2
3 hours to complete

GOF Research

6 videos (Total 49 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
6 videos
Gain of Function Research5m
Dual Use Research9m
GOF Research Case Study: H5N112m
Ethical Issues Raised by GOF Research11m
Governance and GOF Research9m
2 readings
Week 2 Readings10m
Additional Video Content10m
Week
3
2 hours to complete

Biofuels

7 videos (Total 69 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
7 videos
Biofuels9m
Applications5m
Case Study4m
Ethical Issues Raised by SynBio-based Biofuels8m
Interview: Deborah Scott, PhD, JD (Part 1)24m
Interview: Deborah Scott, PhD, JD (Part 2)14m
2 readings
Week 3 Readings10m
Additional Video Content10m
1 practice exercise
Week 3 Quiz30m
Week
4
3 hours to complete

Human Health

7 videos (Total 50 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
7 videos
Synbio in Human Health5m
Human Genetic Modification6m
Case Study: Artemisinin6m
Case Study: GM Mosquitos8m
Ethical Issues Raised by SynBio-based Medical Applications13m
Governance of SynBio-based Medical Applications7m
2 readings
Week 4 Readings10m
Additional Video Content10m
4.7
8 ReviewsChevron Right

33%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top reviews from Engineering Life: Synbio, Bioethics & Public Policy

By JQJul 28th 2017

fun and interesting course. very well taught by somebody obviously knowledgeable. Thanks so much.

By TNJun 16th 2017

Highly thought-provoking. One of the most interesting classes I have taken on Coursera.

Instructor

Avatar

Debra JH Mathews, PhD, MA

Assistant Director for Science Programs
Berman Institute of Bioethics

About Johns Hopkins University

The mission of The Johns Hopkins University is to educate its students and cultivate their capacity for life-long learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • The primary goal of this class is to help scientists think a bit more like policy makers and the public, seeing not only the incredible promise of the science they do, but also the potential risks and pitfalls, so these can be avoided or designed against at the beginning of a project, rather than at the end, when the challenges and costs are higher. Working with scholars, policy makers, and fellow learners, students will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the ethics and governance of synthetic biology.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.