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DNA Science: Forensics, Food, and Medicine

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
June 17, 2015 - July 14, 20154OnlineOpenDonna Lizotte10731

Course Description

DNA can solve a crime, identify a future disease, and distinguish our common ancestors. A remarkable molecule, it has often been referred to as the “building block of life.”

Advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to an explosion in our understanding of DNA and how it impacts us, both as individuals and as a society. This course will introduce the concepts and techniques associated with DNA science and address some of its diverse applications including medicine, forensics, evolution, and genetically modified organisms.

Students will explore current topics and cutting-edge techniques associated with these applications, and experience the process of scientific inquiry first-hand, from understanding what it means to be a scientist to practicing the analysis and interpretation of experimental results. Be prepared to think critically, like a scientist!

Progress in DNA science are not without controversy. Students will investigate and explore these issues through online discussion about the ethical, legal, and social implications of DNA science.

"I liked how engaging this course was. Even when I am taking a face-to-face class I don't tend to be able to voice my opinions as often. I really liked that this course put me in a safe environment where I could share my opinions with others and nicely agree to disagree at times."
- DNA Science student, Summer 2014

Learn more about your instructor for this course.

Course Requirements:

Time commitment: To be successful in this course, you must have reliable internet access, and will be expected to participate multiple times each week. Plan to spend approximately 10 hours per week on coursework.

Students will have access to this course one week before the official start date in order to complete a brief orientation.

Prerequisites: none

• Computer with internet access and browser
• Headphones or speakers
• Adobe Flash Player (Important elements of this course require Flash and will not work on an iPad. If you do not already have Flash installed on your computer, you will be provided with instructions on how to download it at the start of the course.)
• Smartphone or tablet with camera, digital camera, or scanner (some assignments require students to upload photos, sketches, or graphs to course website).
• Word-processing tool that will allow you to save documents as either a .doc, docx, or .pdf

Supplementary materials: none

Course Fee: $1180

Related courses: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry: From DNA to Enzymes (on campus course), Techniques in DNA-Based Biotechnology (on campus course)