Sep 17, 2013 - News

Introducing Tales from the Genome on Udacity

By Matthew Cook, PhD
Udacity Instructor

Get excited! After months of planning and production, Udacity and 23andMe are launching a new genetics course, Tales from the Genome, that will be ready and open to the world on Monday, September 30th.

The rapid pace of technological development is making genetics more useful both clinically and personally. Understanding our own genetics gives us each an opportunity to make the most of this new age of personalized medicine.

Genetics is about the stories our genomes can tell – all the biological secrets wound up and efficiently packaged into information storage units called chromosomes. Together, we will be uncovering some of those secrets in Tales from the Genome.

The course will provide a basic foundation for genetics in a fun and engaging way. Instructors will talk to experts in the field as well as individuals with different traits, all in an effort to explain the sometimes complex science of genetics. All the while, students will be grounded in the basics of DNA, the building blocks of life.

Here’s a look at some of the questions you will be able to answer by the end of the course:

Research shows that genetics students with access to their own personal genetic information perform better on academic assessments. Therefore, we are excited to announced that 23andMe is sponsoring a sweepstakes where a free personal genetics kit (a $99 value) will be given away to 50 Tales from the Genome students who are eligible.

Matt preparing preparing course material for Tales from the Genome.

Matt preparing preparing course material for Tales from the Genome.

Tales from the Genome is unlike any other course you will find online or in person, and starting on Monday, September 30th, it will be open to the world. For a glimpse of what you’ll experience in the class, check out our mini-lesson that shows you how to extract DNA from strawberries in your very own kitchen. To learn more about the rest of the course, check it out here.

Good science to you all, and see you in class!

Mathew Cook, earned his PhD at Duke University and trained as a post-doctoral scholar at UCSF. He joined the content development team at Udacity to share his passion for biology with the world.

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