Are you interested in learning more about living things, or perhaps beginning to train for a career in the healthcare or medical professions? This course will help you understand the structure and function of the human body at the level of your tiniest living components—your cells. You’ll also learn about DNA—what it is, what it does, and even a little bit about how forensic scientists use it to solve crimes. The knowledge you’ll gain from this course is essential to understanding the fundamental causes of human disease, and will prepare you for more advanced courses in human anatomy and physiology.
As you explore each topic, you’ll have lots of opportunities to deepen your understanding and relate what you’re learning to your own life. When things get complicated, you’ll have the guidance you need, so you won’t get overwhelmed by the details. By the end of the course, you’ll have a better appreciation of the fundamental characteristics of living things as well as a solid foundation in the biology of human beings and the biological and medical sciences.
Understand why cells are the smallest units of life, and you’ll understand how they make up all living things, including your body. Then, take an in-depth look at your cells and how they function. By the end of this lesson, you’ll have a better understanding of how your cells work.
Gain a foundation in simple chemistry that will help you better understand symbols like H2O and CO2. You’ll also have a basis for understanding more complicated molecules like carbohydrates, proteins, and DNA. Then, learn about the value of carbohydrates, the difference between dangerous saturated fats and healthy unsaturated oils, and why you should choose lean protein to get your essential amino acids.
Explore the structure and function of one of the cell’s most crucial parts: the plasma membrane. Along the way, you’ll gain a better understanding of blood types, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis. Then, learn why you need vitamins and minerals in your diet. You’ll also discover how humans can manipulate enzymes, targeting them in order to benefit or harm human health.
Explore one of the most important parts of your metabolism: cellular respiration. Understand the most important events that occur during cellular respiration, and you’ll have new insights into why you breathe and why you sweat. Then, learn what the letters A, T, G, and C mean to biologists and have a better understanding of the importance of stem cells in medical research.
Explore how cells divide to make new cells for growth, repair, and sexual reproduction. Then, learn how the genetic information from both parents interacts to determine which traits appear in each generation. By the end of this lesson, you’ll have a better understanding of why people in families look like each other and why we see such diversity in human traits like skin and eye color. You’ll also know more about the inheritance of some genetic diseases.
Gain a better understanding of genetic testing, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and how DNA is used in forensic science. And finally, you’ll gain a better understanding of the biology behind cancer, as well as the risks, prevention strategies, and treatments for this disease.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (We recommend Firefox or Chrome).
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
Instructional material requirements:
- The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
WHEN CAN I GET STARTED?
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE EACH LESSON?
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
WHAT IF I NEED AN EXTENSION?
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.