7.00x – The Secret of Life will let you explore the mysteries of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology and genomics, and rational medicine. This introductory level biology course is hosted by professor Eric Lander, who was one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project.
I've taken half a dozen MOOCs, and this is the best one by far. In fact, it is one of the best classes I have ever taken, period. Dr. Lander is a natural, charismatic teacher who really knows his stuff, including the latest developments.
While it's an introductory course, it's at MIT and it is not watered down. The quizzes and exams are challenging and require you to work.
This class included very informative lectures and tutorials as well as up-to-date software to apply the concepts taught in the course. Not only did the assignments and exams reinforce the concepts I had learned in the lectures, they helped be gain a deeper understanding of what has been taught.
The lectures and the assignments were so well put together they complemented each other in the learning process. The course included a lot of information on recent discoveries in the field of genomics and their applications in rational medicine, relevant to the lives of many today.
I dont agree with my precursor! This Course is just great in every aspect. Eric Lander is a modern Popstar in Biology and his course is a masterpiece. It really encourage you to stay with the course. The problems are just right and you are able to use the theory u just learned in those problem sets via great tools.
This is possibly the best class I have ever taken, in or out of the classroom. Eric Lander, a very accomplished scientist in his field, also was able to take very complex material and make it comprehensible to students of an intro class. This class is nothing like what you would get in an intro biology class in college comprised of memorizing genus, species and phyla, and dissecting animals in lab. It is much more oriented toward the revolution that is now occurring in the field, and challenges one's problem solving and critical thinking capabilities. Great class!
The lectures are really great, and Eric Lander is knowledgeable and engaging, but there is a disconnect between what it taught and what is tested on. It seems like what is taught is very generalized, but the problem sets and exams are exceedingly detailed and nitty gritty, and much of the time it feels as if youre being tested more on nomenclature than concepts.
I would not recommend this to anyone who doesnt already have a pretty large base of scientific knowledge (both chemistry and biology). Although its classified as a beginner course, requiring no prerequisites, in order to be successful, you need to already know your stuff.
All that said, Lander's commentary on the discovery of things now held to be scientific facts is to die for. Its very informative, and he teaches a useful critical mindset. I dont regret taking the course, even though its seriously stressing me out.