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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Molecular Biology - Part 1: DNA Replication and Repair

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


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.

Follow the latest news from MITx Biology @MITxBio on Twitter .

Taught by

Tania A. Baker and Stephen P. Bell

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4.8 rating, based on 86 reviews

Start your review of Molecular Biology - Part 1: DNA Replication and Repair

  • I am proud of myself for completing this course and after getting a total of 86 points.

    This course was a nice challenge for me.

    Several times I had a hard time thinking about stopping this course, especially because there are deadlines for each quiz. However, I was patient and made an extra effort to complete it. And today I did the last quiz in this course and I think that I got a real assessment of the abilities that I learned during this course.

    Thanks to MIT. Now I plan to complete Part Two and Three of this series this summer.
  • The course is really inspiring and consistent, it gives you reliable tools to proceed further in Molecular biology and Biochemistry. Due to its unique structure and tasks which are challenging but fun it somehow makes you believe in your own powers and judgement, and this is extremely important for anyone seriously interested in science. It makes even the beginners bold enough to read primary literature, and even understand it (!).
  • I have just finished the last quiz of this course and I must admit I really enjoyed taking this course! The animations were absolutely amazing. They really helped me understand the abstract concepts more easily. The weekly quizzes were a lot of fun...
  • Javier Pizarro is taking this course right now, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    The quality course is really amazing, especially the animations, that help to understand concepts that could be quite hard to grasp any other way. Even though I'm rather familiar with the subject, the course is designed so the information flows in a way...
  • Brett Markham
    This class takes what you learned about DNA replication before to the next level. I am reviewing this after the third week of the class and I want to give you an idea of what the first week was like. The next two weeks are structurally similar, but...
  • Anonymous
    I'm taking this course to prepare for grad school and a change of career (from tech/management to bioengineering/management). Initially, I tried to take this course after getting 2/3 of the way through 7.00x, and found it challenging enough to want to...
  • Maximilian Vogt

    Maximilian Vogt is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    To put my review into context: I hold a MSc in Agricultural sciences, working in (molecular) plant breeding. That means: I am familiar with genetics and replication, mitosis, meiosis. This course is of interest for me because I wanted to get behind the...
  • Emin Gabrielyan
    This is a top quality course. I just finished the last quiz of the last unit. It was intense but very very interesting. The staff, community members, and all other students are very responsive, respectful, and interested in what they learn. Prof. Steve...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This is a very good course. I withheld a star because I feel certain subjects need to be clarified more as they are explained, especially the assays. The devil is in the details when it comes to assays and every assumption needs to be made clear. Animations...
  • Anonymous
    I'm coming to this course after graduating with a BA and having taken no science classes since high school, except for 7.00x (Intro to Bio) on EdX a few months ago while reading through my old AP textbook. I took this course because Biochemistry was temporarily...
  • Anonymous
    I just completed week 3 and so far it has been fascinating ! As a chemical engineering master student with no background in biology other than high school, I do have to look up a few things and invest a bit more time but everything still makes sense and the course is still exciting. I am looking forward to the remaining weeks of the course and will definitely consider taking part 2 and 3 in the future! I will also most probably purchase the certificate, since I want to support the makers of the course and especially because I think it will be beneficial for my future career.
    Thank you so much.
  • Anonymous
    The course is really helpful, and the way of presentation is amazing, especially the use of animations which simplify the hard concepts and make them easy to understand. The information explained in a way that makes it very interesting.

    Thanks for Prof. Bell who clearly demonstrates an excellent teaching experience, really appreciable.

    Zainab AL-Zuabidy
  • Gert Antonio Tobing
    The quality of the content is good. I hope they put a quality setting options in the video player, like the ones in YouTube so I can adjust the quality with my internet speed.

    Also, I hope the professor would engage the students more instead keep giving the information.

    The lecture is good, the professor use more board than mere powerpoints slide.

  • Anonymous
    Excellent class. The focus on application of the principles to lab / research situations is a real impetus to learn the material well. You can't just remember the facts, you need to be able to integrate and apply them. The visual aids and the instructor's explanations are very clear. I'm taking the class just for fun, moving on to part 2 next.
  • Anonymous
    This is a fascinating course, extremely well designed with excellent teaching. It really gives you a feeling for how basic research into the fundamentals of human biology is being done and how knowledge is being acquired and extended, and what questions arise on the horizon. Thank you very much for this enriching experience.
  • Anonymous
    These MITx biology courses continue to impress me. They deliver what they promise in the course description, including the challenge.

    Even though I have graduated from a decent university, I had not previously encountered theory courses that are this good. Especially the problem sets are great.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed this course very much. The concepts are well explained and easy to understand even if you (like me) come from a different background.
  • Ankita Thakur
    my fav subject biology and dna some many subject scienctific coures exiting and intrest my own subject
  • The class was informative. However, the virtually complete dissociation of lecture presentations and materials from the laboratory driven application questions in the quizzes was disturbing. If I want to be an experimentalist, I will take classes that...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very intense but extremely interesting! I loved the way not only the cool parts about the biological mechanisms were taught, but also all the assays to find out about these mechanisms. Biology has a lot of logic and I liked this clean aspect of it that MIT reveals. I'm excited for Part 2!

    - Just one small remark: why can't all 3 Parts of Molecular Biology be open all the time (or most) like with 7.00x? I would have liked to continue on instead of waiting for the next part to open... (unless the course is new and I just haven't realised) :)

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