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DNA - From Structure to Therapy


DNA stores our genetic information and many diseases are caused by changes in its sequences. We will first learn about the basics of DNA and then find out how it allows for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

  • 25 Apr. 2014
  • English
  • Biology

About this course

Course Summary

DNA is a molecule that we all encounter every day, one way or the other, often without knowing: We inherit traits from our parents encoded in DNA, diagnostics and forensics (as featured in TV serials like CSI) are often based on DNA, and many incurable diseases are caused by changes in DNA sequences. Based on milestone experiments, using models and whiteboard sequences, we want to convey our fascination for DNA and provide you with basic knowledge of DNA structure and function to better understand biomedical approaches for diagnostics and therapy.

What will I learn?

Participants will be able to answer the following questions after completing the course:

  • Why and how has DNA become one of the most powerful tools in research?

  • How does DNA look and why is DNA structure so important?

  • What do the terms cell division, mitosis, transcription, translation and mutation mean?

  • Why is it so hard to find a cure for cancer?

  • For which diseases is DNA technology used as a diagnostic tool?

  • For which diseases may DNA-based technology help developing a therapy?

What do I have to know?

In order to follow our course, basic high school biology and chemistry knowledge is absolutely sufficient. In order to successfully complete all homework assignments, including more in depth questions, you will need some more time and motivation to read further and catch up on certain topics.


  • 2 hours per week for watching videos & taking quizzes
  • 2-4 hours for completing homework assignments, depending on your prior knowledge (voluntary)

Do I get a certificate?

Students participating in this course can earn the official Statement of Participation for free.

Requirement for receiving the Statement of Participation is minimum progress (80% participation in videos and quizzes).
Homeworks will help you to further increase your understanding but are not required for the certificate.


Our course has a facebook page. Come join us there too!

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