Free course

Nucleic acids and chromatin

Free statement of participation on completion

This free course, Nucleic acids and chromatin, helps you to understand the properties of nucleotides and how they contribute to secondary and tertiary structures of nucleic acids at the molecular level. You will learn about the different composition and roles of nucleic acids in the cell, their interactions with each other and the use of ribozymes, aptamers, antisense and hybridization as tools in molecular research. The course covers the function of DNA packaging within the cell, the interactions between the DNA double helix and the nucleosome and it helps you understand the various chromatin states within the interphase nucleus.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • define and use each of the terms printed in bold in the text;
  • understand the properties of nucleotides, how they contribute to secondary and tertiary structures of nucleic acids at the molecular level, and how torsional states are maintained in cellular DNA;
  • understand the different composition and roles of nucleic acids in the cell and their interactions with each other and with agents that cause DNA damage;
  • describe the use of nucleic acids as tools in molecular research, including ribozymes, aptamers, antisense and hybridization tools;
  • understand the function of DNA packaging within the cell and use examples to illustrate how packaging is achieved in various organisms;
  • describe in detail the protein components of the nucleosome and key modifications to nucleosome components, and understand the interactions between the DNA double helix and the nucleosome;
  • understand the various chromatin states within the interphase nucleus – their degrees of compaction and the hierarchy of chromatin assembly.

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content