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  • Provider Coursera
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 4-10 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 5 weeks long

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Named a top 50 MOOC of all time by Class Central!

This course begins a series of classes illustrating the power of computing in modern biology. Please join us on the frontier of bioinformatics to look for hidden messages in DNA without ever needing to put on a lab coat.

In the first half of the course, we investigate DNA replication, and ask the question, where in the genome does DNA replication begin? We will see that we can answer this question for many bacteria using only some straightforward algorithms to look for hidden messages in the genome.

In the second half of the course, we examine a different biological question, when we ask which DNA patterns play the role of molecular clocks. The cells in your body manage to maintain a circadian rhythm, but how is this achieved on the level of DNA? Once again, we will see that by knowing which hidden messages to look for, we can start to understand the amazingly complex language of DNA. Perhaps surprisingly, we will apply randomized algorithms, which roll dice and flip coins in order to solve problems.

Finally, you will get your hands dirty and apply existing software tools to find recurring biological motifs within genes that are responsible for helping Mycobacterium tuberculosis go "dormant" within a host for many years before causing an active infection.

Taught by

Pavel Pevzner and Phillip Compeau

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Reviews for Coursera's Finding Hidden Messages in DNA (Bioinformatics I)
4.5 Based on 17 reviews

  • 5 stars 71%
  • 4 stars 12%
  • 3 stars 18%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Jeff L
3.0 3 years ago
Jeff completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
For someone like me with a background in computer science/engineering, this course had great content introducing biological concepts and the mathematical/algorithmic ideas used in computation for problems in biology. They certainly provide plenty of step-by-step instructions via video and and text. However, I was able to get a good grade (98%) without them checking for a deep enough understanding of the concepts & principles. Much of it felt like simply translating their pseudocode into your programming language of choice. I'll have to review everything if I ever get a job in bioinformatics...
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
4.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
A very good course that uses on online textbook, with built-in programming assignments using real biological data. I have a biology background, but limited programming experience. The assignments start off easy enough, but develop to more advanced algorithms that are explained somewhat vaguely, making the implementation more challenging than it needed to be. I learnt alot though and will certainly be taking the next course in the series.
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
A very good course. It's a little difficult if you don't have a CS background, as the informatics part is a lot harder and counts more than the biology part. For me, it has been a great way to learn new things that I did not know and specially to discover a new exciting field.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
3.0 2 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
Seems harder than it needs to be. Some of the instructions are very vague. Sometimes it is easier to come up with my own code than to follow their suggested code in many of the exercises,
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
0 person found
this review helpful
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Mariusz B
5.0 3 years ago
by Mariusz completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Preston H
5.0 2 years ago
by Preston is taking this course right now.
0 person found
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Stephen N
3.0 3 years ago
Stephen dropped this course.
0 person found
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Ken S
5.0 2 years ago
by Ken completed this course.
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Hary M
5.0 3 years ago
by Hary is taking this course right now.
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Halil B
5.0 3 years ago
by Halil is taking this course right now.
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Chema C
5.0 a year ago
by Chema partially completed this course.
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Daniel F
5.0 2 years ago
by Daniel completed this course.
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
I have PhD in bioinformatics (BSs in CS.). And I'm enjoying this course a lot! The algorithms are explained in very user-friendly way. So are the biological concepts. My big gratitutes to creators of the course content and the tools.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
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Ashlynn P
5.0 a year ago
by Ashlynn completed this course.
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Tyler D
4.0 2 years ago
Tyler completed this course.
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  • 1

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