Gene Therapy OpenCourseWare: A Free Bachelor Level Gene Therapy Course by The Open University

Published Feb 17, 2009

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The OpenCourseWare examines basic principles and two major types of genetic therapy. It also focuses on the possible uses of gene therapy in treating illness and designing drugs. Given by Open University, this free course may be taken by undergraduate biology or pre-med students.

Gene Therapy: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes Yes Yes Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Gene Therapy: Course Specifics

Gene therapy is an emerging field that holds great promise for curing major illnesses and even for making it possible for parents to 'design' their own baby prior to conception. Evolved from the processes of genetic testing, this rapidly growing field is at the forefront of medical technology and a subject of both debate and acclaim.

The 4-hour course examines genetic modification or manipulation and its contribution to gene therapy. Students examine somatic gene therapy (introduction of a normal gene into a cell where it has a biological function i.e. blood, bone or lung). Students also examine germaline gene therapy (genes altered in the sperm or egg prior to fertilization).

The course also focuses on some of the ethical dilemmas surrounding germaline gene therapy, including questions regarding 'designer babies,' a child who has had his or her genes manipulated in order to acquire desired aesthetic qualities.

'Gene Therapy' includes a video, study notes, diagrams, questions, answers and lectures. One can access this free course by, visiting the gene therapy course page.

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