The best way to start learning modern genetics, molecular biology, genetic engineering and genomics

    If you ever wanted to understand the fundamentals of modern biotechnology, genetic engineering, bioinformatics and molecular biology, to understand in detail what is happening on the front lines of this amazing and revolutionary science at the moment, to be a conscious witness of those amazing scientific discoveries, contemporaries of which we are , but did not know where to start - this post should be interesting to you.

    First of all, I consider it my duty to share my find- without a doubt the best course of lectures in the field of natural sciences that I have ever heard, but I studied a lot. This course is simply impossible to listen to in any other way than opening one's mouth from continuous surprise and admiration both with its concentrated content, full of fascinating facts, and the clarity and expressiveness with which the lecturer manages to very simply, fascinatingly and at the same time deeply explain very complex things.

    I will also briefly mention information about other courses on this topic that I managed to find. I hope in the comments to see the recommendations of other members of our community about what they think is better to start and than continue their education in this area.

    My ignorance in this area has long given me no peace. I, in principle, feel very uncomfortable when I do not understand something. But here, right now in the online mode, there is a scientific revolution, the media daily is full of headlines about the stunning achievements of scientists, which yesterday it was still impossible to conceive, and I, in understanding biology, do not go beyond the framework of the Soviet school program, which for the most part missed ears and managed to forget for many years.

    And recently, I began to search for educational materials on this topic. I didn’t have to search for a long time, I opened Youtube and very quickly came across a course on genetics from MIT , which was read by a wonderful professor Eric Lander. From the very first lectures I fell in love both with this charismatic man and with the subject he teaches. Later, I learned that few of his students could resist his charms, the MIT leadership particularly noted his merits in creating outstanding courses and in his unique ability to infect students with his obvious love of biology and genetics.

    Eric Lander is a very honored person. Mathematician by his basic education, which later turned into a genetics. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA since 1997. Winner of many prestigious awards. The works are mainly devoted to bioinformatics, genomics and genetics. Since the second half of the 1980s, he has been engaged in deciphering the human genome and applying its results in medicine. One of the leaders of the project "Human Genome". His group sequenced a third of the human genome.

    However, my joy was short-lived, very quickly, I realized that this was not a course, but some fragments. Then it all happened a few more times, the official course on , of which that genetics course was a part, also turned out to be cut into pieces of lectures.loaded randomly.

    There was no limit to my disappointment, I was like in front of a broken mirror, which represents the greatest jewel when you can see a whole picture in it, but there were only fragments in my hands that didn’t want to join together - many of them were simply lost.

    Then, by some miracle, I managed to find this course entirely , with the correct numbering of lectures, but the picture was of terrible quality. But down there, among the last lectures there were lectures of some other, obviously, of a newer course. And also random pieces without beginning and without end ...
    However, all that had to be done was to start typing the name of this wonderful person in the Google search box. In response, a hint popped up: eric lander edx. And on the second line of the search results is the very “pearl” that I dream to share with you: Introduction to Biology - The Secret of Life

    This is a complete free course with all the necessary supporting materials, tests and the opportunity to receive a certificate of its passage from MIT. Not just information, but real knowledge, laid out in open access.

    Now, having finally found this course, I am infinitely happy, and I can enjoy the highest-quality intellectual high. Professor Lander tells one of the most interesting stories in the world, which is more intense than modern WW -series.Each new lecture literally blows up your head. He is a real playwright. At the first lectures, it seemed that he simply acquaints us with some interesting facts, but later this “gun shoots” - they re-emerge and become extremely important in a different context.

    Eric Lander not only acquaints his students with scientific factology, he in paints and faces tells exciting stories from the history of science, which led to great discoveries in biology. Teaches them the philosophy and methodology of science, intriguing, asking questions that confronted scientists, forcing students to think like those scientists, and inventing on their own those experiments that made it possible to know what we know now. Or, for example, to come up with experiments of testable predictions that can dispel our doubts about the viability of certain models that we are building to explain experimental data.

    No prior knowledge is required to understand the course, although they are desirable in the field of biology and chemistry.

    It should, of course, say that the course is in English. I sincerely sympathize with people who do not know English. This language would be worth learning at least in order to get acquainted with this course. Although the course itself can be used as a great way to learn English. For myself, I have long come to the conclusion that listening to lectures in the target language is the best way to train the auditory perception of the language. Eric Lander has excellent articulation and very clear pronunciation. A lot of things are clear from the context.
    On the edX site itself there are only English and Chinese subtitles, but there is a way to get to Russian subtitles.

    Instructions on how to get to Russian subtitles
    Возможно, я тупой, но мне никак не удалось найти плейлист этого курса на Youtube. Если кто найдет, киньте, пожалуйста, ссылку. Однако есть способ открыть там любое видео курса “по ссылке”. В правом верхнем углу видео на сайте edX есть стрелочка “поделиться”. Нажимаем на нее, видим многоточие, нажимаем и попадаем на Youtube. Далее давим на значок шестеренки, выбираем субтитры, потом надо бы нажать “перевести”, но, по крайней мере в моем случае, эта кнопка становится активной только после того, как мы выбрали английский.
    Дальше наслаждаемся машинным переводом, качество которого лично меня приятно удивило.

    Of course, there are courses in biotechnology and in Russian:

    A lot of courses on this subject, mainly in English, are on the most popular educational site Coursera. I don’t know anything about their content.

    And to my shame and happiness, I learned about such a wonderful platform as solely thanks to the story I just told you.

    Thank you for your attention and wish you a wonderful trip to the world of molecular biology!

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