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Nucleic Acid and DNA Sequencing

This free online course will help you master the basic concepts and structure of nucleic acid and DNA sequencing.

Publisher: NPTEL
Scientific studies in the early 21st century established that nucleic acid was composed of nucleotides. This course examines the various types of nucleic acids, including the Maxam-Gilbert method and the Sanger sequencing method of determining the sequence of bases in DNA. If you find DNA and DNA sequencing a fascinating subject, take this course and have the opportunity to be part of a field of science that is gaining importance and momentum.
Nucleic Acid and DNA Sequencing
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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Nucleic acids are commonly referred to as the building blocks of DNA and RNA. In the early 21st century, chemical degradation studies were conducted on material extracted from cell nuclei. These studies helped to establish that the high molecular-weight nucleic acid was composed of individual acid units, termed nucleotides. This course will introduce you to nucleic acids and the different types of nucleic acids. You will learn about catalytic antibodies and how they can be designed to catalyse different organic reactions. The course explains catalytic residues, transition state analogue approach, sigmatropic reactions, and disfavored reactions. Understanding these concepts is critical in synthetic biology, and you will be learning specifically about nucleic acids. Each repeating unit in a nucleic acid polymer comprises of three units linked together – a phosphate group, a sugar, and one of the four bases. Gain insight into the composition of DNA and its double helix structure as you investigate the contributions of Chargaff, Wilkin, Franklin, Watson and Crick.

In all forms of life, DNA is a polymer made up of nucleotides containing four major types of nitrogenous bases: adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. Though DNA was first isolated from biological material in 1869, its participation in transferring genetic information was recognized during the 1940s. Since then, thousands of physical, chemical, and biological investigations have been focused on DNA. As described by Watson and Crick, the double helix structure is now recognized as a significant structural form of native DNA. Are you inquisitive about the double helix structure of DNA sequencing? This course covers hyperchromic effects, the cooperative process, and DNA sequencing. Hyperchromic effect or hyperchromicity is the increase of absorbance of a material. Hyperchromicity of DNA occurs when the DNA duplex is denatured. When the two single DNA strands are separated, either by heat, by the addition of denaturant or by increasing the pH level, the UV absorption increases. Also, the unwinding of DNA involves cooperativity; portions of DNA must unwind for it to carry out replication, transcription, and recombination.

In the second module, you will learn about DNA sequencing. DNA sequencing is the process of determining the sequence of nucleotides within a DNA molecule. This sequence is unique to each organism, and determining the sequence helps scientists compare different organisms’ DNA. Such comparisons can help show how the organisms are related. The course has detailed discussions on the Maxam-Gilbert method of DNA sequencing and Sanger's sequencing technique. It also provides examples and solves problems to clarify the processes. You will learn about the chemical cleavage method and the limitations of Sanger's chain termination sequencing and pyrosequencing, which are essential topics to master if you wish to gain knowledge in the expanding field of biological chemistry and synthetic biology. These have growing research scope and clinical applications such as designing new diagnostic methods, building molecularly engineered tissues and developing new drugs and vaccines. This field provides scientists and researchers with an arsenal of tools to understand cells’ molecular workings and chemistry to make breakthroughs in medicine and diagnostics. Enrol today and receive the extensive learning that this course offers!

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