Open online courses on Python, Linux and ... genetics

    On November 10, three new online courses (MOOC) in Russian will start: on Python programming, Linux operating system, molecular biology and genetics. The courses were created by teachers of the St. Petersburg Institute of Bioinformatics , which explains their diversity.

    The courses are designed for an untrained audience, because at the Python and Linux Institute, biologists study, and molecular biology is studied by programmers, so that later everyone can master bioinformatics together. But, even if you are very good at programming and feel at ease in vim, you can recommend these courses to your students or friends, or just sign up for biology.

    Courses are completely free and will remain available for self-study under Creative Commons after graduation. But those who want heated discussions in the comments, prompt answers from teachers and certificates at the end, can participate in the next launch with deadlines (November 10 - December 8) .


    The courses are small, designed for three weeks with a load of 3-4 hours a week and talk about the basics of the disciplines without which further study of bioinformatics is impossible: molecular biology and genetics, work in the Linux system, Python programming.

    In fact, it is not necessary to want to do bioinformatics in order for these courses to be useful and interesting: the topics that they cover are basic and oriented to a wide range of students - from schoolchildren to adults.

    The platform for placing courses was the educational player Stepic , which has already established itself on the example of Computer Science Center courses and as an automated task verification system used in several courses at Coursera.

    Each course consists of short video lessons, accompanied by assignments and tests, and upon completion of the course a certificate of the Institute of Bioinformatics is issued.

    The lecturers are teachers of the institute. It is worth noting that all of them are also research associates of the leading bioinformatics laboratories in St. Petersburg ( SPbAU RAS , SPbU, ITMO).

    Molecular biology and genetics

    Course page

    Lecturer: Pavel Dobrynin , Lecturer, Institute of Bioinformatics, Researcher, Center for Genomic Bioinformatics named after F. G. Dobrzhansky .

    Course topics: introduction to cell biology, molecular biology, genetics.

    Python Programming

    Course page

    Lecturer: Pavel Fedotov (@Effect), lecturer at the Institute of Bioinformatics, researcher at the Computer Technology Laboratory at ITMO University .

    Entry level course; created for those who do not know how to program in any language. Special knowledge, except for school-level mathematics and computer skills, is not required.

    Linux introduction

    Course page

    Lecturers: Alexey Gurevich (@AlexeyGurevich) and Andrey Przhibelsky (@andrewprzh), lecturers at the Institute of Bioinformatics, researchers at the Laboratory of Algorithmic Biology, Saint-Petersburg University of Economics .

    The course introduces the Linux operating system, working on a remote server and the basics of writing bash scripts. It also covers more advanced topics, such as, for example, using the Vim editor. Especially for this course, we will use the method of creating virtual servers on the fly (and connecting to the console directly from the browser) with automated verification of the results of tasks.

    Good luck All links and course information are also available from

    Also popular now: