DNA and Atoms: The Secret of Life

Learn about DNA structure, how atoms are bonded to make DNA molecules and the periodic table, through Nobel lectures and key scientific papers.

In this chemistry course, you will learn about “Life in the Universe." We will explore DNA as genetic material and atoms as the building blocks of life. We will discuss the discovery and key features of the double helical structure of DNA and the chemical principles behind the sugar-phosphate backbone and hydrogen bonding in the base pairs will be emphasized. We will also discuss identification DNA as genetic material.

At the end of the course, you will learn how and why atoms are bonded to make molecules such as DNA and the discovery of argon will be used to explain the valency and reactivity of different elements based on the periodic table.

To help learners better understand the material, we will be referencing Nobel lectures and scientific papers such as:

  • Watson and Crick’s 1953 paper in Nature
  • Rayleigh’s 1904 Nobel Lecture on the discovery of argon
  • The 1944 paper in J. Experimental Medicine by Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty
  • Perrin’s 1928 Nobel Lecture

What you'll learn

  • The key secret of life in the universe
  • DNA Structure
  • How atoms combine to make molecules
  • How great scientific discoveries are made
Start Date

End Date

Application Deadline


Online courses

Certifications & Titles

Certificate in DNA and Atoms: The Secret of Life

Study Options

Distance Learning

141 Portland St., 9th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139

Cambridge , United States

Start Date:

End Date:


United States



Online courses

Application Deadline: