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University of California, San Diego

Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners

University of California, San Diego via Coursera


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Are you interested in learning how to program (in Python) within a scientific setting? This course will cover algorithms for solving various biological problems along with a handful of programming challenges helping you implement these algorithms in Python. It offers a gently-paced introduction to our Bioinformatics Specialization (, preparing learners to take the first course in the Specialization, "Finding Hidden Messages in DNA" ( Each of the four weeks in the course will consist of two required components. First, an interactive textbook provides Python programming challenges that arise from real biological problems. If you haven't programmed in Python before, not to worry! We provide "Just-in-Time" exercises from the Codecademy Python track ( And each page in our interactive textbook has its own discussion forum, where you can interact with other learners. Second, each week will culminate in a summary quiz. Lecture videos are also provided that accompany the material, but these videos are optional.


  • Week 1
    • Where in the Genome Does Replication Begin? (Part 1)
  • Week 2
    • Where in the Genome Does Replication Begin? (Part 2)
  • Week 3
    • Which DNA Patterns Play the Role of Molecular Clocks? (Part 1)
  • Week 4
    • Which DNA Patterns Play the Role of Molecular Clocks? (Part 2)

Taught by

Pavel Pevzner and Phillip E. C. Compeau


3.5 rating, based on 12 Class Central reviews

4.2 rating at Coursera based on 1493 ratings

Start your review of Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners

  • Of the half dozen or more MOOCs I've taken, this class is in the top two. MIT 7.00x, taught by Eric Lander, is the only one that is on the same level. This is the highest compliment that I can give; I loved 7.00x. The prerequisites I recommend ar…
  • Anonymous
    Certainly! Here's a sample letter on the subject of bioinformatics: [yacinekhedim] [algeria relizane 48000] [[email protected]] 15 juin 2024 Dear sir, I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my deep interest in the field…
  • Anonymous
    I give this course the full amount of stars, and I really mean it. This course was amazing, among the 45+ MOOCs I have taken it was one of the most engaging and nicely delivered when it comes to the interactive text! What you gain from this course…
  • Profile image for Khawla Khan
    Khawla Khan
    yeah! a good intro of bioinformatics very well delivered and easy to understand
    it really explain how in this modern time classical biology works digitally by programming the information in a particular way to get the required outcome
  • Anonymous
    This course is poorly structured and is definitely not for "complete beginners" as they advertise. It is also more than 8-12 hours a week because you have to do a complimentary Code academy course simultaneously. Even though they reference the code used in Code academy, the projects are a lot more advanced and would be impossible without a background in code. They do not explain anything fully or give hints to help with anything, so if your code is wrong there is very little you can do. Would not recommend to anyone with a biology background because it is still incredibly difficult.
  • Anonymous
    This course contens interessting and biological relatable content.
    Anyways, it is not so suitable for beginners. That for two reasons:

    1. It is to complex and difficult for beginners. Still it can be managed, but not in that given time frame.

    2. The platform Stepik contains a few bugs and is very sensitive to errors. As beginner you might have the right code entered, but the program shows error.

  • Anonymous
    The course was made for those who already have programming base. For those who do not have this prior knowledge, the course becomes much longer than 18 hours. I would not recommend
  • James Warren
  • Onijingin Abayomi Tope
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  • Muratali

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