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Synthetic Biology Courses

Take free online synthetic biology courses and learn about the multidisciplinary art of creating biological parts on edX.

What is synthetic biology?

Synthetic biology looks at what is present in nature and reconfigures, builds on, or alters it to produce new materials. It also redesigns systems already found in nature. The purpose of this synthesis is to find new materials for building, safer compounds for disease, innovative products within biotechnology, and even understanding how to create better biological parts. The field produced biofuels, spurred advances in genomics, and could even allow us to regrow human cells for use in medicine.

Science looks at how natural biological systems evolve and, thanks to artificial intelligence, can extrapolate those insights to make discoveries faster than ever. We're on the verge of using metabolic engineering to cure disease or creating intelligent microorganisms to handle many different tasks, including waste management and healing.

It's an interdisciplinary branch of science, drawing on engineering, biotechnology, chemistry and physics, molecular biology, and a host of other disciplines. Synthetic biology brings in all life sciences from microscopic to large-scale to improve the lives of every being on earth.

Today, projects such as CRISPR and labs like the Collins Lab at MIT or Keasling at UC Berkeley explore how this biosynthetic research could transform our understanding and produce new discoveries.

Learn about synthetic biology

The edX platform offers students the opportunity to complete classes with students from around the world. Courses are created by leading thinkers and institutions in the field of synthetic biology, allowing learners to train alongside some of the brightest minds in the industry. 

Students can explore the field of synthetic biology for free or participate in courses for official credit for a fee. edX offers accredited course options, certifications, and even degrees, all from one convenient platform.

Synthetic Biology Courses and Certifications

Learn from a premier research institution with MIT's Principles of Synthetic Biology. Students will discover the living systems that inspire innovation, as well as modern techniques in DNA sequences, genetic circuits, and ODE modeling with programs like MATLAB. Students will learn to design their own circuits and apply them to real-world scenarios.

Students can also study the neurological applications of the field with Osaka University's Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics course. Students explore two main approaches: analytic and synthetic. In the synthetic approach, synthetic biologists explore the human brain's biochemical processes, hoping to replicate them artificially. 

Explore applications in Synthetic Biology

Researchers are hoping to apply the same engineering life forms to solve problems in multidisciplinary ways. Genetic engineering, biosecurity, and biotech, synthetic biologists can take inspiration from RNA, metabolic pathways, microbes and enzymes — literally anywhere — to form new materials and solutions. 

Thanks to more powerful DNA sequencing and gene circuits, the field is growing, and researchers can enhance transcription and transcriptional processes. With courses from edX and partners, students will gain an understanding of the expression systems leading to the discovery of new ways to fight pathogens or simply organize artificial intelligence. It's a brave new world, and edX is ready to unlock the path.