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Part 1. Genes and Their Regulation

This is the first part of a 5-part course Genetics for Breeders and Vets.

In this first part, you will:

  • Learn about genes and DNA. What is a gene? What is the function of proteins?
  • Learn the basics about genes and how they are regulated. Epigenetics. What happens if regulation does not work? What are mutations? Are they always harmful?
  • Learn how parental genes are passed on to offspring. Genes are on chromosomes, which come in pairs. One member of each pair of chromosomes is passed on to offspring.
  • Explore practical examples in dogs, cats and horses. Are short limbs in a dog the result of a mutation? How are long coat and withers height inherited?

Content of the course

This first part of the course consists of lessons, quizzes, links and a glossary. In addition, each lesson has a discussion section where you can ask questions about the lesson topics and discuss with other students.

Your instructor Katariina Mäki, PhD (Animal Breeding), will be present during the course. She will help you if you have any problems and will also answer questions on the course platform.

Seven lessons

Each lesson contains a lecture video and the same content in text form.

All the points made in the lecture videos can be found in the text of each lesson. So you don’t have to search for a particular point in the video if you want to go back and check something.

Learning quizzes

Short learning quizzes after each lesson.


Links to additional resources if you want to learn more.


The breeding and genetics terms taught in the course are collected in a glossary, where you can always check what a term means.

Possibility to ask questions

A question and comment section after each lesson – you can ask all those questions that have been bothering you for years. Remember, there are no stupid questions!

Course certificate

You can save and share the certificate on social media or print it out.

Watch the sample lesson (click on the image to open the lesson):

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does this course take?

This course lasts about one week, depending on how many lessons you want to complete per day.

You can study at your own pace.

When does this course start?

There is no fixed start date for the course. You can start the course as soon as you purchase it.

Are there any prerequisites for this course?

There are no prerequisites for the course. You will learn the basics from the very beginning.

What tools do I need to participate?

You will need an internet connection and a computer or smart device.

How long will I have access to the course material?

The course content will be available to you permanently.

What if I am not satisfied with this course?

If you are not satisfied with the course, let us know within 14 days of purchase and we will refund your money.

Please note! When you purchase this course, you will still be on this same page. To start the course, open the first lesson ‘Welcome to the course’ by clicking ‘View Lesson’. If you are on a computer, you will find the Lesson menu on the right hand side of the page. If you are on a smartphone, the menu will appear at the bottom of the page.