Jun 7th 2016

Molecular Biology - Part 1: DNA Replication and Repair (edX)

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An in-depth adventure through DNA replication and repair to strengthen your scientific thinking and experimental design skills. You’re acquainted with your DNA, but did you know that your cells synthesize enough DNA during your lifetime to stretch a lightyear in length? How does the cellular machinery accomplish such a feat without making more mistakes than you can survive?

Why isn’t the incidence of cancer even higher than it is? And, if the DNA in each and every cell is two meters long, how is this genetic material compacted to fit inside the cell nucleus without becoming a tangled mess?

Are you ready to go beyond the “what" of scientific information presented in textbooks and explore how scientists deduce the details of these molecular models?

Take a behind-the-scenes look at modern molecular genetics, from the classic experimental events that identified the proteins involved in DNA replication and repair to cutting-edge assays that apply the power of genome sequencing. Do you feel confident in your ability to design molecular biology experiments and interpret data from them? We've designed the problems in this course to build your experimental design and data analysis skills.

Let’s explore the limits of our current knowledge about the replication machinery and pathways that protect the fidelity of DNA synthesis. If you are up for the challenge, join us in 7.28x Part 1: DNA Replication and Repair.

What you'll learn

- How to compare and contrast the mechanisms of DNA replication in prokaryotes and eukaryotes

- How to describe several enzymatic mechanisms that the cell uses to repair or tolerate DNA damage

- How to analyze protein structures to infer functional information

- Design methods for the best experiment to test a hypothesis related to DNA replication or repair proteins

- How to interpret data from DNA replication and repair experiments