It is over sixty years since the structure of DNA was first discovered by Watson and Crick. Since then work in genetics and gene technology has expanded to the point where the entire human genome has been sequenced, and there is now hope of being able to cure diseases using gene therapy. There is also on-going work in the area of modifying plant DNA to produce pest-resistant crops that give bigger harvests for more food. Today, people need a thorough knowledge and understanding of genetics and gene therapy so that they can make up their own minds as to the potential benefits and drawbacks of what this field of science can offer us. In this free online course you will discover what genes do and explore and come to understand reference terms such as meiosis and mitosis. The course also covers evolutionary aspects of DNA and the genome. You will also learn about gene technology which includes gene testing, gene therapy and the controversial area of genetic modification in plants. This course will be of great interest to professionals working in the areas of biology, medicine and development, to learners who would like a career in the areas of genetics and gene technology, and to anyone interested in understanding the basic area of science that underpins all living existence.
Modules in Biology - Genes and Gene Technology
This module provides an introduction to the evolution of mammals. It also covers DNA and the genome.
This module explores how information contained in DNA is used, explaining the flow of information from DNA to RNA to protein.
This module looks at how units of inheritance are transmitted from one generation to the next.
This module looks at three different uses of genetic testing: pre-natal diagnosis, childhood testing and adult testing.
In this module you will consider the genetic manipulation of plants, and the production of GM crops.
The ethical concerns that have resulted from the emergence of genetic manipulation are explored in this module.
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