DNA can solve a crime, identify a future disease, and distinguish our common ancestors. A remarkable molecule, it has often been referred to as the “building block of life.”
Advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to an explosion in our understanding of DNA and how it impacts us, both as individuals and as a society. This course will introduce the concepts and techniques associated with DNA science and address some of its diverse applications including medicine, forensics, evolution, and genetically modified organisms.
Students will explore current topics and cutting-edge techniques associated with these applications, and experience the process of scientific inquiry first-hand, from understanding what it means to be a scientist to practicing the analysis and interpretation of experimental results. Be prepared to think critically, like a scientist!
Progress in DNA science are not without controversy. Students will investigate and explore these issues through online discussion about the ethical, legal, and social implications of DNA science.
"It really got you thinking and made me research things that I never would have on my own time. I liked blogging because looking at others’ opinions really helped understand the topic more."
- DNA Science student, Summer 2015
Time commitment: The first week of your online course serves as the course orientation, during which you will get to know Canvas (Brown's learning management system), review course expectations and strategies for your success, learn about your instructor, and help us to learn a bit about you. These activities should take you just a few hours to complete.
The following week you will begin working with your instructor and classmates on the course itself. To be successful in this course, you must have reliable internet access, and will be expected to participate multiple times each week. Plan to spend approximately 10 hours per week on coursework.
• Computer with reliable, high-speed internet connection
• Up-to-date Internet browser supported by Canvas, Brown's learning management system
• Headphones, earbuds or speakers
• Webcam and microphone
• Adobe Flash Player browser plugin (Course elements may require Flash and will not work on an iPad.)
• Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc,.docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
• Courses can also be accessed on tablets and mobile devices. These devices can be used as supplemental access points in order to complete most coursework.
Supplementary materials: none