• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    8–10 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
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  • Institutions
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Advanced
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English
  • Course Type:
    Instructor-led on a course schedule

Associated Programs:

Prerequisites

Undergraduate biology

About this course

Skip About this course

Gene sequences and the rest of the genome play an important role in determining how an organism functions normally and reacts when situations change. DNA sequences can also be used to determine relationships between organisms and form the underpinnings of the Tree of Life.

Since DNA sequences play such an important role in any organism it should not be surprising that any changes to a sequence could lead to alterations in behavior or response. For example, a small number of specific changes in DNA sequence have been shown to lead to tumor development in mammals or the production of enzymes with altered properties.

One of the jobs of a bioinformatician is to help determine where these changes are in a DNA sequence and sort out in that context what effects may result, which is usually done by aligning the sequences in question.

In this course, part of the Bioinformatics MicroMasters program, you will learn about the theory and algorithms behind DNA alignments, practice doing alignments manually, and then perform more complicated alignments using web and software based approaches.

This course is part of the Bioinformatics MicroMaster’s program from UMGC. Upon completion of the program and receipt of the verified MicroMaster’s certificate, learners may then transition into the full UMGC Master’s Program in Biotechnology with a specialization in Bioinformatics. See the MicroMasters program page for more information.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Synthesize and analyze biological big data
  • Theory behind alignment algorithms and how they operate
  • Examine the roles mutations play on cellular processes

Meet your instructors

James Coker
Associate Professor and Program Chair, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology Regulatory Affairs Specializations
University of Maryland Global Campus

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Frequently asked questions

Important Information

Thank you for your interest in the MicroMasters Program in Bioinformatics. Please note that this program is being discontinued. No courses will be offered after December 2020. The schedule for the final offering of each course in this program is provided below. In order to transfer these courses to UMGC, you will need to purchase the Verified Certificate, complete, and pass all 3 courses. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

  1. DNA Sequences: Alignments & Analysis - 7/14/20 - 9/8/20
  2. Proteins: Alignment, Analysis & Structure - 9/22/20 - 11/17/20
  3. Statistical Analysis in Bioinformatics - 12/1/20 - 1/26/21

How long does a student have to apply to and complete the full UMGC degree?

To ensure that your program remains relevant and up-to-date, UMGC sets time limits for completing a program. Students have five (5) consecutive years from the start of the graduate degree to complete their degree. For students who start with a MicroMasters program, their “time clock” begins on the date that they complete their last course in the MicroMasters program and receive their Verified Certificate. This means that students should apply to UMGC promptly to begin the degree and have as much time as possible to complete it.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.