Introduction to Biology - The Secret of Life
Explore the secret of life through the basics of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA, genomics and rational medicine.
About this Course
7.00x is an introductory level biology course hosted by professor Eric Lander, who was one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project. The course content reflects the topics taught in the MIT introductory biology courses and many biology courses across the world. As a student, you will first focus on the structure and function of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. You will discover how changes in the structure of some of these macromolecules alter their functions and what the implications of such changes have on human health. As you continue in the course, you will apply an understanding of heredity and information flow within cells to human health and disease and will learn about molecular biological techniques and their potential to impact our changing world. After you complete this course, you will have a foundation in biology that will allow you to understand the remarkable medical revolution going on today.
Students will complete this course in 12 weeks. Each week features a series of lecture sequences that are supported by interactive video tutorials and interspersed exercises or problems. Students will work on a homework assignment or exam each week. The course will conclude with a comprehensive final exam. 7.00x – The Secret of Life will let you explore the mysteries of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology and genomics, and rational medicine. We are excited to take this journey with you!
Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.
Ways to take this edX course:
Simply Audit this Course
Audit this course for free and have complete access to all of the course material, tests, and the online discussion forum. You decide what and how much you want to do.
Pursue a Verified Certificate of Achievement
Plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, promotions or school applications? Then you may prefer to work towards a verified Certificate of Achievement to document your accomplishment.
Eric S. Lander
Eric Lander is a Professor of Biology at MIT and Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is the President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Lander was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project. He and his colleagues are using these findings to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the basis of human diseases. Lander also serves as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), which directly advises the White House on matters of science and technology.
Graham Walker is a Professor of Biology at MIT and an HHMI Professor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Walker lab focuses on the regulation and mechanism of action of proteins involved in DNA repair and mutagenesis and in other cellular responses to DNA damage.
Dr. Michelle Mischke is an Instructor in the Department of Biology at MIT. She serves as a course coordinator for 7.00x.
Brian White is an educator, developer, and educational researcher. He teaches Introductory Biology at the University of Massachusetts of Boston. He developed many of the software tools used in 7.00x and focused on the creation of problems.
Mary Ellen WiltroutMary Ellen Wiltrout is a MITx Instructor for Biology. She completed her Ph.D. in Graham Walker’s lab from the Department of Biology at MIT, taught molecular biology at Harvard University, and returned to MIT as a core development member of 7.00x. She now oversees and manages all of the MITx projects for the Department of Biology at MIT.
High school level biology and chemistry recommended. A desire to learn is required.
Yes, if you want an Honor Code certificate after successfully completing the course and do not need or want the verified certificate, you can select that option by clicking “Why do I have to pay?” under the verified amounts.