About this Course

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Learner Career Outcomes

33%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Shareable Certificate
Earn a Certificate upon completion
100% online
Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines
Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level
Approx. 16 hours to complete
English
Subtitles: English

Learner Career Outcomes

33%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Shareable Certificate
Earn a Certificate upon completion
100% online
Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines
Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level
Approx. 16 hours to complete
English
Subtitles: English

Offered by

Johns Hopkins University logo

Johns Hopkins University

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1

Week 1

18 minutes to complete

Welcome to Engineering Life: SynBio, Bioethics & Public Policy

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

Recombinant DNA Technology: Science and History

2 hours to complete
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

Week 2

3 hours to complete

GOF Research

3 hours to complete
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

Week 3

2 hours to complete

Biofuels

2 hours to complete
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

Week 4

3 hours to complete

Human Health

3 hours to complete
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

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:

    • The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.
    • The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.
  • 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.

  • You will be eligible for a full refund until two weeks after your payment date, or (for courses that have just launched) until two weeks after the first session of the course begins, whichever is later. You cannot receive a refund once you’ve earned a Course Certificate, even if you complete the course within the two-week refund period. See our full refund policy.

  • Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You’ll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. Learn more.

  • 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.

  • This Course doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Course Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more. Online Degrees and Mastertrack™ Certificates on Coursera provide the opportunity to earn university credit.

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