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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


4.8 rating, based on 109 Class Central 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.
  • Anonymous
    I finished it today and it was a great experience and definitely worth the 100 dollars! Prof. Bell explains really well and is in general just a likable person. The course is constructed after weekly assignments, where you basically learn the whole…
  • 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…
  • 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 fu…
  • 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 (!).
  • 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, b…
  • Anonymous
    It's pretty solid - I've completed all my basic biology and biology electives in college and wanted to take something to advance a bit further. This definitely challenged me and the course is set up to keep the topics organized so I can go back and reference. And for pre-meds, I found this super useful for the MCAT Bio section. It is WAY more detail than you need, but it really helped me on my understanding of DNA/RNA better than any prep course or book. Quizzes are more like problem sets (untimed and not proctored) and I found them a good way of both learning and testing.
  • Anonymous
    This is my post-week-3 review, and I will definitely be taking this course to the end. So far I'm enjoying the focus on the laboratory techniques that allow us to work with something that's almost impossibly minute. I think it's natural to find yourself struggling throughout the course as you watch the videos, but if go through the whole lesson, then do the Cerego memory sets, I believe the content will start to make sense to you you as it has to me.
  • David Bouwman
    As a retired physician who last worked in a lab with DNA in a lab setting during the 1970s, and who has casually followed developments as they apply to medicine, I found this course challenging but positioned right at my zone of development. I am thoroughly enjoying it and using it to structure reading the wikipedia entries that correspond. I am emeritus and don't need credit or the motivation of having paid a fee but I intend to finish the course before my access runs out. I will definitely take more courses in this series in preparation for volunteering as a lab research assistant at my university. Thank you for this experience. And thank Prof.Bell for taking time away from his other duties to teach this class and co-produce this course.
  • Anonymous
    A great course! The instructor explains the material very well and although the class is fast paced, you can follow along and take notes.The quizzes are also great.The quizzes are also great. The quizzes are also great as they allow you to both reinforce and extend the knowledge you have gained from the lecture.
  • Maximilian Vogt
    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…
  • 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…
  • Anonymous
    I think it's a great course! You do need to have some basic in biology though. Overall, I recommend it if you have a lot of interest in Molecular Biology esp. in genomics.
  • Anonymous
    A superb sequel to 7.00X. This course is very up to date (warning, some of the stuff covered will not be in older text books). The lectures are easy to follow but this course does go at faster pace than 7.00X. The problem sets are achievable but reasonable challenging, you'll need to take notes as you go!
  • Anonymous
    The lectures are detailed and interesting, and the quizzes are interesting to solve. Many of the videos feature very helpful graphic illustrations.
  • Anonymous
    Great course! Great lectures and engaging exercises!
    Extremely interesting to learn the facts along with the experiments that can prove them.
  • Anonymous
    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.…
  • 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. St…
  • Anonymous
    As a returning learner, I found this course challenging but fascinating. The in-depth focus on molecular mechanisms was exactly what I was looking for, and the animations in particular were very helpful for visualizing the interactions taking place at a molecular level. The course material was well laid out and easy to follow and the lectures were very well done. As another reviewer stated, it would have been helpful to see how some of the assays are actually performed, instead of just descriptions of the set up and results. I found interpreting the results for the hypothetical experiments challenging but informative.
  • Lal Ninan
    First of all I want to thank Drs. Bell and Baker, their graduate students, and MIT Biology staff for designing this wonderful course. I had completed 700.x (Intro to Biology - secret of Life) with the express goal of deep-diving into molecular biolo…

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