What is the best Life Sciences Course you have taken? | Coursera Community
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What is the best Life Sciences Course you have taken?

  • 26 October 2018
  • 29 replies
  • 940 views

Userlevel 6
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Hi everyone,

In parallel to Claire's data science and computer science threads, I thought I could start this one for Life Science enthusiasts here too. Any of you out there? :)

I have taken quite a few of really nice ones that I find hard to choose... 🤔 One of the top of my list would be Prof. Noor's Introduction to Genetics & Evolution Course. His enthusiasm for the course and amazing teaching ability were quite unique. He really helps you to grasp the difficult concepts with ease by sharing many examples while he also managed to make the students think by themselves too.

Similarly, I am very fond of Useful Genetics, Introduction to Breast Cancer, Understanding Metastasis, Understanding Prostate Cancer and Genes & The Human Condition courses too, particularly for their teaching material that is included. Useful Genetics and Introduction to Breast Cancer quiz questions and assignments also make you think deeper on the concepts you learn.

What would be your favorite life sciences course and why? I would love to hear.

Thank you.

29 replies

Userlevel 4
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Denise, thanks for taking a lead expanding to cover Life Science.

My favorite is Gut Check! It opened up a whole world about our gut microbiome ecosystem that I was clueless. I just could get enough of it. So much so that I signed up as Mentor so that I can keep learning to keep myself healthy holistically and share the little that I can with other learners.
Userlevel 6
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@ele81946 I heard so much about Gut Check, John. It's one of those courses that is listed on my to do list! I will try to fit it into my schedule as soon as possible. It seems our gut health is one of the most important factors to keep us healthy overall and fighting against many ailments. Thank you for sharing it with us and reminding me this famous course once again. I look forward to be mentored by you as well. 🙂
Userlevel 7
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Gut Check is on my list of courses I'd like to take one day as well! It seems like researchers are only just beginning to realize how much this affects about the rest of the body and mind as well.
Userlevel 4
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Be mindful of the advances and what one has learned. Just when I got the idea from a few courses about the advantage of bio-diversity, then I stumble on this about that one needs to be aware that there are cases where diversity may cause instability of one eco-system

https://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2018/Biodiversity.html

We have a lot to learn together, and to prepare ourselves of the quirks and hypes such as prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics. This is especially the case that many supplements are not regulated.

In short, a great course to start, and lots more to learn and put in practice.
Userlevel 6
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Thank you John @ele81946 for letting us know about the caution on supplements and the interesting article you shared. That is so true about the supplements, we must check with our physicians as well as online about them I think before making the attempt to include them on our diets. At times, one supplement may be helpful for something while it might have side effects on another thing, just like any other medication. Yes, things seem to be unexpectedly linked together at times, scientists are discovering some new connection regularly. Just inline with your Gut Check course, look what I came across with: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-might-the-appendix-play-a-key-role-in-parkinsons-disease/ : Appendix, the house of gut bacteria, might be involved in Parkinson's disease, which is considered to be a neurological disorder! Who would have guessed?! 🙂 -Probably you John?! 🙂
Userlevel 4
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@Denise that Parkinson disease article is a good one to illustrate correlation, and not necessarily causality. I was thinking about who causality for that could be determined. I have not figure that one out yet. Since Parkinson disease is mostly with aging, the use of germ free mice to determine causality won't work. So I have a long way to go to earn your compliment:-)

Meanwhile, I continue to enjoy the Gut Check course with fellow learners. They bring new findings and perspectives every week!
Userlevel 6
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Yes, you may be correct on causality @ele81946 on Parkinson's, John. Parkinson's is a very complex disease and very active area of research. They seem to discover more and more about our gut and brain connection, daring to call our gut as "second brain" interestingly 🙂 : https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection

I think with your involvement with Gut Check course from early on, you already earned my compliment! 🙂
Userlevel 6
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I've just added Gut Check to my course Wishlist! Why aren't there more hours in the day?
Userlevel 5
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I've completed 10 courses in the life sciences area (out of 14 courses overall), and I personally found them all interesting. Perhaps among my favourites would be
I learned a lot from these courses, and they were presented in a logic, easy way to understand. The teachers were friendly and seemed really enthusiastic about the topic especially in the last one mentioned above.
Userlevel 6
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That is my question too @Pat B , lack of hours in a day!! 🙂 I am still trying to complete Human Physiology and yet to fit in Medical Neuroscience course as well. They both require quality time. I heard particularly great things about Medical Neuroscience both about the instructor and the lectures and their quizzes. So, Gut Check will wait a bit longer for me until after these ones. If only we had more hours in a day though to fit it all... 🙂
Userlevel 6
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Thank you @Lillian for highlighting those courses as well. You sound very keen on Life Sciences area! I have not taken any of those yet either despite completing several other courses. You are way ahead of me! 🙂 I had my eye on vital signs and the anatomy of Abdomen for a while. I must find a way to fit them to my schedule too... Thank you for reminding me.
Userlevel 5
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Yes, I'm a Life Sciences fanatic, @Denise! 😉
Userlevel 6
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Cool @Lillian ! That’s a cute expression on Life Sciences! LOL!
Userlevel 1
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Greetings to everyone one.l started here and learnt about everything about diabetes mellitus due to its importance on our contemporary life due to our bad habits of lack exercise and high calorie fast food ,etc and I found an awesome content about everything about diabetes from A to z . I recommend everyone to know about it to be more aware about it and can help the diseased ones in our community and also to avoid being diabetic .
Userlevel 2
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Thanks for taking the lead to make this wonderful thread. I love learning and especially for biology staffs that i think from the 55 course i took the certificates for them, more than 45 are in life science. All of them were amazing actually and i had a lot of fun that it is really difficult to recommend. But i will talk about one of the latest course i finished which is evolution today, really really amazing. There is also fundamental immunology which i currently take. The instructor is very funny and although she gives you a huge load of information, you really enjoy hearing from her.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mostafa-elsayed-7959b2147

I put all the certificates i take here you can check and ask me about any course you like and i will give you a quick review about it.
Userlevel 2
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Thank you for this thread. @Mostafa Elsayed i am really amazed to see all the courses you have completed, and it would be great if you could take your time out to guide newcomers like me. I am currently taking the course "writing in science" and its really challenging. I have 2 quires if anyone can help me out
First, I am very keen to take a course about neurology or neuroscience, would you please recommend me one, a review would be much appreciated. (because there are many courses related to that and i could not decide a single one)
secondly, i am a research oriented person what course would you suggest me in this regard.

THANK YOU
Userlevel 2
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Thank you for this thread. @Mostafa Elsayed i am really amazed to see all the courses you have completed, and it would be great if you could take your time out to guide newcomers like me. I am currently taking the course "writing in science" and its really challenging. I have 2 quires if anyone can help me out
First, I am very keen to take a course about neurology or neuroscience, would you please recommend me one, a review would be much appreciated. (because there are many courses related to that and i could not decide a single one)
secondly, i am a research oriented person what course would you suggest me in this regard.

THANK YOU


I would be happy to help. For your question about neuroscience, i did take a lot of courses and still continue some of them. The longest course in neurology and on Coursera is Medical neuroscience.
Amazing course but very very long you get i think what equals a credit in neurology if you take this course. As i said its only problem is its length, but if you are not interested in a certificate you can pick the weeks you want to know about. But i recommend you to start with anatomy: human neuro anatomy. A more simple and short and will give you a quick but concrete overview for the neurology also its quizzes are amazing. If you want to know new concepts i recommend introduction to neuroeconomics a new speciality integrate neurobiology, economics and psychology. I loved this course very much it was amazing. Currently i am taking synapses, neurons and brain which offers until now a new way of explaining brain and neurology so i look forward to finish it. I will try to continue medical neuroscience soon. The addicted brain is also a good course it offers knowledge but more concentrated around addiction and pharmacology of the brain
Userlevel 2
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Thank you for this thread. @Mostafa Elsayed i am really amazed to see all the courses you have completed, and it would be great if you could take your time out to guide newcomers like me. I am currently taking the course "writing in science" and its really challenging. I have 2 quires if anyone can help me out
First, I am very keen to take a course about neurology or neuroscience, would you please recommend me one, a review would be much appreciated. (because there are many courses related to that and i could not decide a single one)
secondly, i am a research oriented person what course would you suggest me in this regard.

THANK YOU


About research you are on the right path by taking writing in sciences. I know it is difficult, but really informative. You will gain a lot and feel the difference after finishing it so stick to it. I recommend after that to take the course academic information seeking which will guide you to a wonderful tools to navigate the research especially mendeley which i currently depend on. You can also try epidemiology: the basic science of public health and introduction to systematic review and meta analysis. But i think after finishing writing in sciences, you should start searching for a good scientific group and start doing research.
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Thank you @Mostafa Elsayed for your time, i think i would go for neuroecnomics and medical neuroscience but as you are telling me that its really a long one. It would be hard for me to fit that in my university schedule, but i have added them in my TO DO list.
writing in science is indeed an informative and challenging one and i hope to gain a lot, i will definitely take academic information after this (though i have searched a lot of courses for research purpose but i missed that ). I want to do research but its hard to find a scientific group to do research with 🤓

Thank you for the recommendations ☺
Userlevel 6
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@Mirhan Mohammed It's wonderful you found the help you needed through this thread, particularly thanks to @Lillian . Thank you for your recommendations.
Userlevel 6
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Hi @Mostafa Elsayed , great to see you here too. What an impressive course list you have! Thank you for sharing it with us. I think I overlapped with you in some of those as I recognize your name. Synapses, neurons and brains course is among my favorites too.

@Asma Sattar , I agree with @Mostafa Elsayed 's suggestions on those courses. Medical Neuroscience is also on my to do list since it requires good quality time but I heard that it's worth that time. Writing in the sciences was one of the first courses I took in Coursera. For the assignment I had reviewed a clinical research paper on a topic I was interested. So, it kind of combined some research with the course. In addition, I also recommend Clinical Neurology course of UCSF. It was a short course when I took it and their assignments were research oriented if you wish to look. Assignments of Introduction to Breast Cancer, Systems Biology and Epigenetics courses were also research oriented and inspirational if those topics interest you. I hope these help you too in addition to Mostafa's excellent advice.

Best wishes.
Userlevel 2
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Hey @Denise THANK YOU for your response, i will definitely look forward to all these courses you have suggested☺.

its really nice to be a part of community who listen and help each other.
Userlevel 6
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It's my pleasure @Asma Sattar , glad to be of some help. 😊 I totally agree with your last sentence. ☺

I just remembered there is also Experimental Genome Science course from UPenn, whose assignments were research oriented. It was one of the first courses I took in its first offering years ago. I am not sure how it is now but it was one of the most challenging ones. There was almost literal "howling" on the forums re: the assignment grades every week. The average grade of the whole course in the end was ~40% and so they reduced the passing grade to 40 or something. If you happen to take it and get a low grade don't get discouraged but it was really worth the time and effort. You learn a lot.

Useful Genetics Part 1 & 2 of British Columbia University were also challenging like that although they are archived now. We were told the videos are available on youtube and the Prof will be answering questions in her blog if you wish to Google them at some point.

Introduction to Genetics & Evolution course did not have any assignments but the questions were written so cleverly, they made you think and research the materials before you answer them.

I hope these help you too for future reference. All the best.
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@Denise I have searched that course experimental genome science from upenn but i could not find it . It would be great if you could send me the link. Although the way you have explained it makes me anxious and bold at the same time, I wanna give it a try to check where I stand.

Thank you,
REGARDS
Userlevel 6
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Hi @Asma Sattar , it's very courageous of you, considering to take that course already. 👏 I have had a look and it appears to be stopped at the moment. It was there until relatively recently as I had recommended it to someone else. I should have double checked before I mentioned it here as well. I am sorry. 😊

They may offer it again though. This had happened before. They had offered it in 2012 and 2013. Then stopped for a couple semesters and then offered again, not sure until when exactly but I think it was there in 2017/2018 if I am not mistaken. I found out that one of the instructors moved to another institution. Perhaps, that's part of the reason for stopping it.

Here are a couple of reviews for future reference if they bring it back again: https://www.classcentral.com/course/coursera-experimental-genome-science-349

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-introduction-to-genomics

In general though, if you do not have a background on Molecular Biology & Genetics, I would not recommend to take that course to begin with. I recommend starting with "Genes and The Human Condition course," which is fairly more basic then "Introduction to Genetics & Evolution" and then viewing "Useful Genetics" Part 1 & Part 2 videos at least from YouTube and then finally taking that "Experimental Genome Science" if it is offered again.

There seems to be plenty of alternative courses on genomics at the moment in Coursera if you type "genomics" to search at the moment though. Perhaps, you may consider some of those as well?

I hope these help? ☺

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