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Biology - Genes and Gene Technology

Biology
Free Course

Learn about DNA and DNA technology.

  • Duration

    2-3 Hours
  • Assessment

    Yes
  • Certification

    Yes
  • Publisher

    OpenLearn
Description Outcome Certification View course modules

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.

After completing this course you will be able to:
- Appreciate the huge variety of different mammals that exist on Earth today;
- Discuss how fossil evidence can help us to understand evolutionary history;
- Describe 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;
- Identify how the linear sequence of DNA within a gene is related to the linear sequence of amino acids of a protein;
- Describe how the information in DNA is carried via RNA to make a protein;
- Describe how RNA is synthesized from DNA by the process of transcription;
- Discuss how the number of chromosomes is characteristic of each species and can vary enormously between species;
- Describe how genetics is based on the concept of the gene as the unit of inheritance;
- Identify the role of a genetic counsellor and its non-directiveness;
- Differentiate between pre-natal diagnosis, childhood testing and adult testing and give some examples of diseases that may be tested for;
- Discuss the science that underlies the development of genetically modified organisms and in particular how gene transfer is brought about;
- and understand some of the social issues surrounding the development of GM crops.

All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire official Certification, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certification is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Certification for completed Certificate courses:

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