This short article describes the ideas behind Useful Genetics: Why do we have to learn this stuff? A new genetics for 21st century students
Who might want to take this course?
People affected by or concerned about a genetic disease (either directly or in a family member)
People interested in the genetic diversity of humans or other species
People who have had (or are considering having) their genes or genomes analyzed by companies such as 23andMe
People concerned about the public use of personal genetic information
People interested in breeding animals or plants, or in in conservation of endangered species
People interested in genealogy and ancestry analysis
Health care professionals
Anyone interested in genetics but unable to enroll in university at this time
Useful Genetics is taught in two parts. Students in Part 1 may want to also sign up for the separate course Useful Genetics Part 2.
Part 1. Genes and their effects (6 weekly modules plus a final exam week)
Module 1. How different
are we? Introduction to DNA, genes and chromosomes and the relationships
between human populations. Ancestral interbreeding with Neanderthals.
Module 2.How DNA molecules change. The causes and immediate consequences of mutations.
Module 3. DNA differences
and gene functions. How mutations that change gene activity or function affect the properties of organisms.
Module 4. Mutations in regulatory genes. How mutations cause cancer. Sex determination and genes on sex chromosomes.
Natural genetic variation. How natural genetic variation is studied, and how it differs from classical alleles. Heritability and genome-wide association studies. Genetic variation for cancer risks.
Module 6. Personal
genomics. Kinds of DNA typing and genome analysis, and what
can be learned from them about health risks, personal attributes and ancestry.
Part 2. Inheritance (taught as the separate course Useful Genetics Part 2) (5 weekly modules plus a final exam week)
Module 7. The mechanics of inheritance. How genes and chromosomes are transmitted through the generations (including the molecular mechanisms of mitosis and meiosis).
Module 8. Genetic analysis. Using genetic crosses as a research tool to investigate how genes work and what they do. Sex-linkage, pedigree analysis, and hypothesis testing.
Module 9. All about breeding and inbreeding. More about heritability and association studies. Inbreeding in humans, crops and livestock, and evolution. Hybrids and genetically modified organisms.
Module 10. Chromosomal changes. Changes in the number of chromosomes and in how genes are arranged on them. Genome evolution.
Module 11. Selected advanced topics. The origin of life, mitochondrial genes and mutations, genetic mosaicism, fetal DNA in mothers, epigenetic inheritance, and other topics students may suggest.
Bob completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Instructor with solid knowledge of the material presented. Clear explanations, somehow slow paced with wrong calculations here and there. Appealing way of delivery, super tight policing of the forums by instructor herself. Helpful TAs in an constant walking on egg shells environment where instructor is endlessly correct, quite biased when it comes to GMOs & with a constant lame interest to negotiating quizzes& exams wording. A perfect course to take with no forum activity attached, esp. if you are not into bickering, lingustics or God-like instructors.
Fátima Pereira completed this course.
Excellent. Definitely on my top ten courses. Very good lectures. Dr. Redfield is an excellent communicator, very good at communicating knowledge and explaining the subjects making them understandable even to those with no biological background. Strongly recommend it.
Anonymous completed this course.
Although I found the presentations by the prof to be good, I didn't think the quizzes were very good in terms of testing what was presented in the lectures.
Anonymous completed this course.
Psycho self-obsessed instructor. That about covers it.