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Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Genetics: The Fundamentals

How do we know what we know about heredity? Enhance your scientific thinking and experimental design skills with this in-depth adventure through genetics.

Genetics: The Fundamentals
7 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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This is the first genetics course in a multi-part series. Building upon the concepts from biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology from our 7.00x Introductory Biology MOOC, these genetics courses go to a new level of depth. How do we know what we know about heredity and how can we design experiments to test hypotheses in genetics?

How do we study the inheritance of different traits? How does that information help us understand heritable diseases? Professors Michael Hemann and Peter Reddien will challenge you to take your foundational knowledge of genetics to the next level. You will explore the foundations of the field of genetics and how to apply those concepts to understand modern studies of heredity.

We developed the 7.03x Genetics series with an emphasis on:

  • Developing your scientific thinking skills including articulating hypotheses, designing experiments, performing thought experiments, and interpreting data.
  • Using data based on real scientific experiments and highlighting the scientific process in assessments.
  • Asserting that biology is an active field that changes daily through examples of research and relevance to medicine, not static information in a textbook.
  • Uniting themes and principles that inform how scientists conduct and interpret research.
  • Implementing the science of learning in the course design.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Biochemistry, Genetics, Research, Biology, Molecular Biology, Scientific Methods, Experimental Design

What you'll learn

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  1. How to appreciate the applications of genetics to everyday life.
  2. How to apply terminology appropriately to concepts in genetics.
  3. How to justify the use of specific techniques and methods for answering different genetic questions.
  4. How to design genetic crosses to make conclusions about genotypes, modes of inheritance, and linkage.
  5. How to use a quantitative approach to determine different genetic probabilities and calculate genetic distances.
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Mendelian Genetics
  • Inheritance Patterns and Pedigrees
  • Recombination and Linkage
  • Tools for Analyzing Linkage
  • Analyzing Human Mendelian Traits

Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I take related biology courses from MIT?

The other MITx Biology courses run throughout the year. Check out the MITx Biology website for more details and registration links.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in 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.

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