Provider: University of Copenhagen at Coursera [course page]
Course Design: Jens Juul Holst and Dr. Signe Sørensen Torekov
Subject: Science / Medicine / Cellular Biology
Delivery: self-paced asynchronous study
Recommended Load: 3-5 hrs/week for 5 weeks
Completion Date: 09/31/2014
Description: This course discusses the nature of Diabetes as a disease and its global impact.
Strengths: The growing problem of Diabetes has become the focus of numerous news articles and several documentaries. It is a disease that can cause other diseases as well. It isn’t just about health either. There are major economic ramifications for countries with large populations of Diabetics. There is medical care to consider, which requires money. To deal with the problem we need to understand the problem, which is why a course on the biology of Diabetes is so important.
This course goes into the biology of several major forms of Diabetes, how they are treated and their various causes. Whilst some forms of Diabetes are due to lifestyle, we learn that some have direct genetic causes that result in early onset of Diabetes. It is a lot of material to learn in five weeks, and it isn’t the end of the extensive knowledge available. Even though there was a lot to learn, the material was genuinely interesting.
Weaknesses: Be prepared to brush up on your knowledge of Cellular Biology!
Conclusion: Diabetes is a complicated problem, but there is no doubt that we need to find solutions to reduce the frequency of onset and find ways to treat those with pre-existing forms of the disease. Understanding the differences between the various forms of the disease allows us to devise plans of action, but it must be understood from the cellular level in order to be of real use. We can I highly recommend this course to anyone willing to put in the time to understand the biological components of the disease.