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Whole Genome Sequencing: Decoding the Language of Life and Health

Health Education England via FutureLearn

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Whole genome sequencing is a relatively new technology that allows us to ‘read’ a person’s or organism’s entire genetic code. But how does it work and what does it mean for all of us? How do scientists begin to make sense of the vast amount of information that whole genome sequencing provides? And what does this new technology mean for the future of healthcare and personalised medicine?

Learn how genome sequencing works

This course will take you behind the scenes to explore this emerging technology and its promises to revolutionise healthcare around the world. You will be given a unique insight into modern genetics laboratories and state of the art sequencing facilities, led by clinical scientists who are using whole genome sequencing to shape decisions about patient care and appropriate treatments.

You will be introduced to the fundamental basics of DNA and genetic variation, before exploring the process of whole genome sequencing and the ways in which the resultant data can be analysed and used to benefit patients. Leading scientists and genomics experts will explore the potential and limitations of this new technology, and the ethical questions that arise when we can ‘read a person’s genome’.

Explore how whole genome sequencing affects healthcare

Throughout the course you will be introduced to a range of case studies and scenarios where whole genome sequencing is having a profound impact on healthcare and life decisions. You will be introduced to England’s pioneering 100,000 Genomes Project and its potential impact on how we understand and care for patients with rare diseases and cancer. You will also discover how genomics is being used in epidemiology and helping us tackle infectious diseases.

The course is aimed at healthcare professionals who have limited or no understanding of the sequencing process and the many varied uses of whole genome sequencing. Science undergraduates and non-specialists who want to learn more about sequencing and genomic medicine are also very welcome.

You don’t need an in-depth knowledge of genetics, as this course will provide a recap on the basics. It is designed for anyone who wants to learn about whole genome sequencing, how it operates and the impact it is likely to have on healthcare.

If you’re a healthcare professional, you may find it useful to upgrade this course to support your continuing professional development (CPD). By upgrading, you’ll be able to take this course at your own pace and revisit the material at any time in future. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement as evidence of your CPD. This includes details of what you learnt and the number of learning hours required.

Taught by

Samantha Butler, Michelle Bishop and Anneke Seller
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Subject Health Care
Provider FutureLearn
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 3 hours a week
Calendar 3 weeks long
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What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
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MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

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