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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Molecular Biology – Part 3: RNA Processing and Translation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


In Part 3 of 7.28x, you’ll explore translation of mRNA to protein, a key part of the central dogma of biology. Do you know how RNA turnover or RNA splicing affects the outcome of translation? Although not official steps in the central dogma, the mechanisms of RNA processing strongly influence gene expression.

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 biology, from the classic experimental events that identified the proteins and elements involved in translation and RNA splicing 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 assessments in this course to build your experimental design and data analysis skills.

Let’s explore the limits of our current knowledge about the translation machinery and mechanisms of RNA turnover and splicing. If you are up for the challenge, join us in 7.28.3x Molecular Biology: RNA Processing and Translation.


Week 1: Translation I – Overview and Key Players
Week 2: Translation II – Elongation
Week 3: Translation III – Initiation and Termination
Week 4: Translation IV – Regulation of Translation
Week 5: RNA Splicing I – Mechanisms
Week 6: RNA Splicing II – Proofreading and Alternative Splicing
Week 7: RNA Turnover I – Assays and General Mechanisms
Week 8: RNA Turnover II – Specific Bacterial and Eukaryotic Mechanisms

Taught by

Stephen P. Bell, Tania A. Baker, Mary Ellen Wiltrout, Sera Thornton and Swati Carr


5.0 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Molecular Biology – Part 3: RNA Processing and Translation

  • The course is great for those who want to enter wonderful realms of molecular and cell biology. Here you don't have to memorize tons of terms, instead you learn to understand and feel them and not to be afraid of even the most elaborate articles in such journals as Cell or Annual reviews. This course is definitely worth taking!
  • Profile image for Inês Silva
    Inês Silva
    This course is a fantastic experience. I'm waiting for it to come back so I can complete it. I just wish the deadlines were more flexible, since this is very hard to complete with a working student schedule.
    Every topic is explained in detail and the exercises are interesting and relevant to the topic.
    Professor Steve Bell is a wonderful teacher and explains everything clearly and the moderators in the forums are quick to help with any question you might have.
    If you have an interest in topic you should definitely try out this course!
  • Anonymous
    Another excellent course from Professor Bell and the MITxBio team. This one dug deep into the complex topic of protein translation, and it's amazing how cells have so many pieces of molecular machinery all working together to keep things running (or stop things that run amok!).
  • Anonymous
    This was a wonderful course and I would recommend taking the two previous courses in this series. Very challenging and informative. Professor Bell explained the concepts exceptionally well and the application of the material was thought provoking.
  • Anonymous
    This was a great course where I learned a lot about the processes inside cells. This course completed the journey that started with DNA replication and repair, and continued with DNA transcription and translocation. Like the previous two, it was h…
  • A worthy continuation of the previous two courses. If you took them then you know what to expect. If no than it's better to start from the first course, otherwise you will be in trouble due to the periodic mention of unknown technique and concepts. All three courses are really advanced, very difficult, require preliminary knowledge, time and effort (at least for me). But in return you will get a lot of knowledge. I'm very happy that finished them all. :)
  • Anonymous
    Steve Bell is an excellent presenter and the material is very nicely visualized and explained. The level of detail is quite high, but not overly high so the bigger picture still is clearly visible at all times. The time consumption for me is quite a bit higher than anticipated, especially to work through the quizzes. But since they are also beautifully designed to be also a learning and practice experience it is definitively worth the time spend there!
  • Peter Mayr- Obitsch Phd ScD
    Same high quality as the 2 courses before. Although just performing it based on individual interest, I enjoyed it very much. Detailed explanations of theoretical models as well as practical laboratory tests to support the theories. A must for everyone interested in the secrets of life, and quite sure the cutting edge for the future of living.

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