subject
Intro

edX: Introduction to Biology - The Secret of Life

 with  Eric S. Lander and Graham Walker

HIGHEST RATED MOOC

This course is a Top 50 MOOC of All Time based on thousands of reviews written by Class Central users. It's guaranteed to be good!

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Read fully to understand the verified-certificate option. Join Professor Eric Lander and the MITx Biology team in this unique introductory biology learning experience. All 7.00x course materials are available here for exploration and completion, including video and interactive problem sets and exams for skill building. We strongly encourage you to work through the activities, towards a goal of learning biology. We have optimized the course settings for learning: instant feedback after trying problems and all content available at all times. We offer a rigorous means of certifying edX learners in their mastery of the MITx introductory biology content, through the MITx 7.00x Introduction to Biology Competency Exam. This exciting option is available ONLY to those who register for the verified-certificate track, and successful completion of this exam is the only assessment that counts toward a certificate. We highly recommend preparing for the Competency Exam certification by using the current course materials and MIT OpenCourseWare problems. The next Competency Exam will be open October 24, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

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 learner, 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.

MITx 7.00x: Introduction to Biology – 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!

25 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Self Paced
Subject Biology
Provider edX
Language English
Certificates $150 Certificate Available
Calendar 18 weeks long
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25 reviews for edX's Introduction to Biology - The Secret of Life

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
Ken Sellers completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
My class was taught by Dr. Eric Lander. If you don't know who that is, look him up on Wikipedia and be prepared to be impressed. It's the equivalent of taking beginning guitar lessons from Eddie Van Halen. As a teacher, Dr. Lander has the gift of making the complicated and technical seem simple and exciting. This w Read More
My class was taught by Dr. Eric Lander. If you don't know who that is, look him up on Wikipedia and be prepared to be impressed. It's the equivalent of taking beginning guitar lessons from Eddie Van Halen. As a teacher, Dr. Lander has the gift of making the complicated and technical seem simple and exciting. This was, hands down, my favorite class ever.

The class lists no prerequisites, but you really need at least high school chemistry and biology. Dr. Lander will take it from there. The first part of the course is spent on chemistry that is needed to understand the rest of the class. Then the class moves on to classic genetics, the structure of DNA, the mechanics of DNA replication, how DNA codes proteins, and how proteins form biochemical pathways within our cells to perform tasks like metabolism.

This is not the kind of class where you can just watch the videos once and ace the quizzes. Be prepared to work, and be prepared to be richly rewarded in return.

- KS_80537 on edX
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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
The lectures are really great, and Eric Lander is knowledgeable and engaging, but there is a disconnect between what it taught and what is tested on. It seems like what is taught is very generalized, but the problem sets and exams are exceedingly detailed and nitty gritty, and much of the time it feels as if youre bein Read More
The lectures are really great, and Eric Lander is knowledgeable and engaging, but there is a disconnect between what it taught and what is tested on. It seems like what is taught is very generalized, but the problem sets and exams are exceedingly detailed and nitty gritty, and much of the time it feels as if youre being tested more on nomenclature than concepts.

I would not recommend this to anyone who doesnt already have a pretty large base of scientific knowledge (both chemistry and biology). Although its classified as a beginner course, requiring no prerequisites, in order to be successful, you need to already know your stuff.

All that said, Lander's commentary on the discovery of things now held to be scientific facts is to die for. Its very informative, and he teaches a useful critical mindset. I dont regret taking the course, even though its seriously stressing me out.
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
This class included very informative lectures and tutorials as well as up-to-date software to apply the concepts taught in the course. Not only did the assignments and exams reinforce the concepts I had learned in the lectures, they helped be gain a deeper understanding of what has been taught. The lectures and the as Read More
This class included very informative lectures and tutorials as well as up-to-date software to apply the concepts taught in the course. Not only did the assignments and exams reinforce the concepts I had learned in the lectures, they helped be gain a deeper understanding of what has been taught.

The lectures and the assignments were so well put together they complemented each other in the learning process. The course included a lot of information on recent discoveries in the field of genomics and their applications in rational medicine, relevant to the lives of many today.
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
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Jason Galloway completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This is THE online course to take. Dr. Lander is not only an accomplished scientist, but also a gifted teacher. Also, the MIT staff does its best to make the most of the online platform and leverages technology for the course to a degree I've never seen anywhere else. The result is a truly amazing course that raises t Read More
This is THE online course to take. Dr. Lander is not only an accomplished scientist, but also a gifted teacher. Also, the MIT staff does its best to make the most of the online platform and leverages technology for the course to a degree I've never seen anywhere else.

The result is a truly amazing course that raises the bar for MOOCs in general. If you are at all interested in the subject, or are looking for a class to inspire you, take this one!
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
I dont agree with my precursor! This Course is just great in every aspect. Eric Lander is a modern Popstar in Biology and his course is a masterpiece. It really encourage you to stay with the course. The problems are just right and you are able to use the theory u just learned in those problem sets via great tools.
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
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Anonymous is taking this course right now.
This is a fantastic class - I don't have any background in chemistry or biology (not even in high school) and I found it challenging but achievable. It definitely requires a lot of work to really get to grips with the material but it's presented in every possible way to help you understand it. Definitely the best course of it's type I've seen.
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a month ago
Wandalen completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Unfortunately, this course designed not to teach, but only to earn money. There is no support or feedback from people behind of the course. Nobody cares if you will get a question or will find an error. Many problems designed ungainly, lubberly, have mistakes, some problems are too tedious, take to much time not actu Read More
Unfortunately, this course designed not to teach, but only to earn money.

There is no support or feedback from people behind of the course. Nobody cares if you will get a question or will find an error.

Many problems designed ungainly, lubberly, have mistakes, some problems are too tedious, take to much time not actually teaching something, but ask to copy paste hundreds of times or simply don't work at all because of technical problems.

The exam will be available only for a week. If you make decision to pay them and will try to pass the exam, you should bear in mind that exam will take 12 hours, not 6 hours as claimed, so you should take couple days off to pass it. Also, you should understand that this course is below the minimum required to pass the exam. This course will not prepare you for the exam at all. In my case, despite I took another similar course in parallel and read a book, I got only 82% while 80% is minimum.

To get the certificate you have to pay 150$ 3 weeks before the exam will be available. That's made to take off student's right to ask money back. Edx give only 2 weeks for refund.

It was a good course if priority were not earning money but the care of a student. Not the case. After you complete the course, you will not get even chance to leave a review. This is another red flag something really wrong with the course.

Shame on MIT!
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5 months ago
Heavenly Frazier is taking this course right now, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
When I first took the course in 2016, I was excited. It was my first MOOC and was easy enough for someone who didn't have a background in biology to begin. Lander explains everything clearly, adds in a few jokes as well, and has lecture notes in case you missed anything. You can take this class despite having no idea Read More
When I first took the course in 2016, I was excited. It was my first MOOC and was easy enough for someone who didn't have a background in biology to begin. Lander explains everything clearly, adds in a few jokes as well, and has lecture notes in case you missed anything. You can take this class despite having no idea what biology is and leave with a great idea. I dropped the class due to time but have restarted it and love it just as much. There's resources for a lot of the topics and makes you want to learn more. If you take proper notes, you can easily get all of the work correct. I'm currently on week 1 and have no problems with the course! Take this course and you will not regret it!
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4 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
This is possibly the best class I have ever taken, in or out of the classroom. Eric Lander, a very accomplished scientist in his field, also was able to take very complex material and make it comprehensible to students of an intro class. This class is nothing like what you would get in an intro biology class in college Read More
This is possibly the best class I have ever taken, in or out of the classroom. Eric Lander, a very accomplished scientist in his field, also was able to take very complex material and make it comprehensible to students of an intro class. This class is nothing like what you would get in an intro biology class in college comprised of memorizing genus, species and phyla, and dissecting animals in lab. It is much more oriented toward the revolution that is now occurring in the field, and challenges one's problem solving and critical thinking capabilities. Great class!
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4 years ago
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Mark Dionne completed this course.
I've taken half a dozen MOOCs, and this is the best one by far. In fact, it is one of the best classes I have ever taken, period. Dr. Lander is a natural, charismatic teacher who really knows his stuff, including the latest developments.

While it's an introductory course, it's at MIT and it is not watered down. The quizzes and exams are challenging and require you to work.
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a year ago
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Anonymous is taking this course right now.
GREAT GREAT course!

The lectures are very well structured and Dr. Eric Lander is such a good teacher.

He explains all the complexity in the world of Biology in a perfectly and very interesting way. You do get addicted to this course!
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a year ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
Definitely one of the top courses i've taken across disciplines. Challenging, but in a very good way. I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in biology, even if you have done other introductory courses before.
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4 weeks ago
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Roman Ivanchenko completed this course, spending 9 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Some problems were inaccurate. Some didn't work. Also, exam available only short period and take a couple of days. Also, I don't think that course of such quality should cost as much.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
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Marco Fiorini completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
a year ago
Piotr Dziuba completed this course.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
a year ago
Kamalneet Singh partially completed this course.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
a year ago
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Martin Nilsson completed this course.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
a year ago
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Tyler Devlin completed this course.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
a year ago
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Pratibha Rajagopalan completed this course.
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
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Ksenia Korovina completed this course.
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6 months ago
Olivia Filali partially completed this course.
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