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Biology - Genes and Gene Technology

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Biology - Genes and Gene Technology
  • Description
  • Outcome
  • Certification
  • 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.

  • In this course you will:

    - develop an appreciation of the huge variety of different mammals that exist on Earth today;
    - see how fossil evidence can help us to understand evolutionary history;
    - understand how the structure of DNA can help us to detect differences between different species;
    - apply the techniques of DNA analysis to work out which mammals are most closely related to each other;
    - how the linear sequence of DNA within a gene is related to the linear sequence of amino acids of a protein
    - how the information in DNA is carried via RNA to make a protein
    - how RNA is synthesised from DNA by the process of transcription
    - the number of chromosomes is characteristic of each species and can vary enormously between species
    - genetics is based on the concept of the gene as the unit of inheritance
    - the role of a genetic counsellor and its non-directiveness
    - the difference between pre-natal diagnosis, childhood testing and adult testing and give some examples of diseases that may be tested for
    - understand more about the science that underlies the development of genetically modified organisms and in particular how gene transfer is brought about;
    - understand some of the social issues surrounding the development of GM crops;



  • All Alison courses are free to study. To successfully complete a course you must score 80% or higher in each course assessments. Upon successful completion of a course, you can choose to make your achievement formal by purchasing an official Alison Diploma, Certificate or PDF.

    Having an official Alison document is a great way to share your success. Plus it’s:

    • Ideal for including in CVs, job applications and portfolios
    • An indication of your ability to learn and achieve high results
    • An incentive to continue to empower yourself through learning
    • A tangible way of supporting the Alison mission to empower people everywhere through education.

Modules List( 7 )
  • UNDERSTANDING GENES AND GENE TECHNOLOGY
  • Module 1: Evolution, DNA and the Genome
    • Introduction to the evolution of mammals
    • The odd one out
    • DNA - Spot the difference
    • The chemical structure of DNA
    • The double helix
    • How DNA is replicated
    • Chromosome structure and DNA replication
  • Module 1: Extra Reading Material
  • Module 2: The Purpose of Genes
    • Using information stored in DNA
    • One gene - one protein
    • The flow of information from DNA to RNA to protein
    • From DNA to RNA: transcription
    • Where does transcription occur in the cell
  • Module 3: Mitosis and Meiosis
    • Meiosis and the life cycle - Chromosomes
    • Meiosis and the life cycle - Sexual reproduction
    • Like begets like
    • Patterns of inheritance
    • A breeding experiment - Stage 1
    • A breeding experiment - Stage 2
    • Predicting the outcome of crosses
    • Inheritance of more than one pair of contrasting characters
  • Module 4: Gene Testing and Gene Therapy
    • Introduction to genetic testing
    • Pre-natal diagnosis
    • Genetic testing of children and adults
    • Late-onset single-gene disorders
    • Gene therapy
    • Somatic and germline gene therapy
    • Designer babies
  • Module 5: Gene Manipulation in Plants
    • Introduction to gene manipulation in plants
    • Crown gall disease
    • Using A. tumefaciens to genetically modify plant cells
    • From infected cells to transgenic plants
    • Insect resistance
    • Herbicide tolerance
    • Golden rice
  • Module 5: Extra Reading Material
  • Module 6: GM Crops and Social Concerns
    • Introduction
    • Ethical issues
    • The Pusztai controversy
    • Assessing the safety of GM food
    • Public views
    • The GM nation public debate
  • Module 6: Extra Reading Materials
  • END OF COURSE ASSESSMENT
  • Module 7: Genes and Gene Technology Assessment
    • Genes and Gene Technology Assessment
Topics List ( 7 )
Module 1: Evolution, DNA and the Genome
This module provides an introduction to the evolution of mammals. It also covers DNA and the genome.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 2: The Purpose of Genes
This module explores how information contained in DNA is used, explaining the flow of information from DNA to RNA to protein.
Topics List ( 7 )
Module 4: Gene Testing and Gene Therapy
This module looks at three different uses of genetic testing: pre-natal diagnosis, childhood testing and adult testing.
Topics List ( 7 )
Module 5: Gene Manipulation in Plants
In this module you will consider the genetic manipulation of plants, and the production of GM crops.
Topics List ( 6 )
Module 6: GM Crops and Social Concerns
The ethical concerns that have resulted from the emergence of genetic manipulation are explored in this module.
Topics List ( 1 )
Module 7: Genes and Gene Technology Assessment
You must score 80% or more to pass this assessment.
Course Features
  • Duration

    2-3 Hours

  • Publisher

    OpenLearn

  • Video

    Yes

  • Audio

    Yes

  • Assessment

    Yes

  • Certification

    Yes

  • Price

    Free

  • Reward

    50 Pts

  • Responsive

    No

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