Severe ME Day of Understanding and Remembrance: Aug. 8, 2017
Determined to paper the Internet with articles about ME, Jody Smith brings some additional focus to Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Day of Understanding and Remembrance on Aug. 8, 2017 ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

The wonderful world of free on-line courses - aids to understanding research.

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by trishrhymes, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes:
    17,870
    I have dived head first in to giving myself a crash course in both the politics of ME and the latest research in the last year or so. It's all a bit mind boggling.

    One thing I quickly realised I need to do to be satisfied that I understand biomedical research is to update and deepen my knowledge of biochemistry, physiology, genetics etc. The undergrad. science courses I did are all years out of date and largely forgotten.

    I have very much enjoyed exploring over the last few years the ever expanding availability of free on-line courses provided by universities via FutureLearn, EdX and Coursera.

    The ones relevant here that I have particularly enjoyed are:

    Coursera:
    Vital signs, understanding what the body is telling us - University of Pennsylvania
    Introduction to Genomic Technologies - Johns Hopkins University
    Introduction to Genetics and Evolution - Duke University
    Epigenetic control of gene expression - University of Melbourne

    FutureLearn
    Metabolomics - University of Birmingham (UK)
    The science of medicines - Monash University

    EdX
    Cell Biology - Mitochondria - HarvardX
    I also signed up for several other cell biology courses with EdX, but ran out of energy... I've promised myself I'll go back to them.

    I'd say for most of these you need a good background in high school biology and chemistry if you're going to understand the detail, but they can be interesting at whatever level you can manage.

    Many great lecturers explaining stuff clearly with diagrams and animations, short lectures (mostly 5 to 10 minutes) that you can watch in your own time and as often as you like, and exercises/tests to do if you want to, but no compulsion, and it doesn't matter if you fall behind or drop out. Short courses (4 to 12 weeks).

    And they're all free. It's amazing.

    I've also done ones on other subject from Shakespeare to computer programming to Classical Music.

    Right now what little energy I have for 'study' is taken up with trying to keep up with the research stuff coming up on PR - and mostly failing!

    I'll probably go back and do some of these courses again, as my sieve-like brain doesn't seem to retain much and I haven't the energy to take notes and revise like I did in my healthy student days, but I still get a lot of personal satisfaction from them.

    I wonder whether anyone else has similar experiences to share.

    Any other good on-line learning resources, especially for the biochemistry and cell biology that's coming up in ME research?

    By the way, I've also tried some truly dreadful courses, oddly enough (!) many of them in the field of psychology.
     
  2. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes:
    5,482
    UK
    The Khan Academy also offers really fantastic online courses. They have a huge range of different topics, including many in biochemistry and medicine, but also history, economics, mathematics, physics etc. The videos are only around 10 mins long so good bite size chunks if struggling with energy. Khan has a knack for explaining complex topics very clearly.

    I am also using this time of physical incapacity to teach myself Spanish with Duolingo, which is something I have wanted to do for a long while. I'm also continuing to expand on my degree in politics by deepening my understanding of various contemporary and historical political events/processes. Venezuela's Chavismo is a particular interest of mine (Latin America is a recurrent theme for me, hence the Spanish).

    It is good to feel like I am being productive and moving forward in life, even though in many ways everything in life has been put on hold. Education has been a big part of that.
     
  3. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes:
    17,870
    Thanks Cheesus, great to hear you're managing a bit of study. It makes such a difference to me too. And thanks for the links to the Khan academy and Duolingo. They look really good too.

    For anyone who wants to learn computer programming, I've just remembered there's Code Academy too, but no lectures to watch, all stuff to read and try with lots of exercises to do - I found it a bit dry, but then I'm not serious about becoming a programmer.
     
    Kina, Angel27 and Cheesus like this.
  4. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes:
    21,535
    Germany
    I learnt to program in Java here:



    Absolutely brilliant course.

    Also familiar with duolingo. The free education you can get online is unbelievable these days.
     
    Jennifer J, Valentijn, Kina and 2 others like this.
  5. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

    Messages:
    816
    Likes:
    3,397
    UK
  6. Spoons

    Spoons

    Messages:
    22
    Likes:
    83
    Open Culture (think it's just openculture.com) have loads of free university courses in pretty much every subject, from one-off lectures to longer courses, as well as some free films.
     
  7. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

    Messages:
    816
    Likes:
    3,397
    UK
    Jennifer J and trishrhymes like this.
  8. Theodore

    Theodore Senior Member

    Messages:
    686
    Likes:
    671
    France
  9. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes:
    17,870
    Theodore likes this.
  10. slysaint

    slysaint Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,124
    Likes:
    11,463
    I spent most of the last 3 days doing the spanish course on Duolingo; have finished the tree. (I did spanish o'level at school and went to spain quite a lot in my youth). Just a few observations; it's Latin American spanish as opposed to Spain spanish; a lot of the verbs/words are different and the pronunciation is also South American......apart from that they did go on a bit about weapons, bombs and revolution! The 'practice' tends to just go over the same stuff again and again (ie not a lot of new verbs) and they dump you in at the deep end with the grammer. That said, it was very addictive. (I've had a look at the Open University courses in spanish which will require a bit more application.)
    Out of curiosity I looked at the Polish course for about 5 minutes:confused:........don't think my brain can handle it.
    I used to be a computer programmer before I fell ill............no way could I do it now .
     
    TiredSam, Jennifer J and trishrhymes like this.
  11. Jenny TipsforME

    Jenny TipsforME Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes:
    3,822
    Bristol
    Snap!
     
    trishrhymes likes this.
  12. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes:
    17,870
    @Demepivo recently posted on another thread a link to a You tube presentation on mitochondria by Bozeman science. It packs in a good summary of how mitochondria work all in about 7 minutes. Good outline revision of the HarvardX course I did with EdX.

    I also watched another Bozeman video on CRISPR which I'd heard of but didn't know what it was. I've forgotten already - have to watch it again! Good stuff if you don't want to sign up for a course but want a glimpse into aspects of science.

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/wtf-are-mitochondria-useful-video.48479/
     
    Demepivo and Jennifer J like this.
  13. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes:
    5,482
    UK
    @slysaint

    Yeah it is Latin American because Duolingo is an American company, so it makes sense to use Latin American spanish. That is okay by me as my interest is in Latin America and I first started learning Spanish whilst travelling around Ecuador. Also remembering the Spanish lisp drives me insane :p

    I had a go at Norwegian. I don't think I will be pursuing that one...
     
  14. slysaint

    slysaint Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,124
    Likes:
    11,463
    They are currently working on one for Klingon! Seriously:lol:
     
    Cheesus and trishrhymes like this.
  15. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes:
    5,482
    UK
    It's the language of the future.
     
    slysaint and trishrhymes like this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page