The Personal Genome – how much information is in your DNA?

The Personal Genome – how much information is in your DNA?

Our body is composed of up to 30 trillion cells. Each cell is equipped with a unique genetic material, often referred to as personal genome. Personal genome (complete DNA set) ensures health and fitness of our cells, tissues and body in general. The knowledge of how variations in genetic material lead to variations in appearance, behaviour and health is constantly increasing. A large market is evolving with a focus on personal genetic tests for determination of disease predispositions. Meanwhile, the information about the genes associated with diseases provides a basis for development of more efficient and targeted treatments adapted to each individual. Access to genetic information also raises issues of importance to ethics, global and individual priorities in health care and research.

In this village we will discuss:

  1. How does the rapidly expanding knowledge about the personal genome affect our everyday life, the image of ourselves and nature?
  2. How can new information and technology based on gene analysis empower our work and everyday life?



Relevant competency

No prior knowledge is necessary. Students from all research communities are welcome. Different backgrounds are relevant to this village including medicine, molecular biology, biotechnology, informatics, engineering sciences, media studies, arts, pedagogy, interdisciplinary cultural studies, linguistics and philosophy.

About the village

This is a semester based village that lasts fifteen weeks on theme "personal genome".

External partner: “Bioteknologirådet” is the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board; As part of the village introduction, a member of the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board, will present challenges and problems in personalised genomics. You as students will subsequently choose the project of your interest on the topic “personalized genome”. The village leaders and external partner will monitor the progress of your projects and provide input on the project relevance and quality at the final presentation.

Questions of inspiration

  • Who owns the information imprinted in our genes?
  • What do you know about your hereditary traits and diseases?
  • Should others read our DNA code?
  • How can we manage best all the new knowledge about genes and genetic engineering?
  • How can knowledge about genes create value?
  • Should genome manipulations be allowed?
  • Knowledge is important in order to make our own choices. How can we improve knowledge about genes, gene technology and genetic testing in such a way that "personal genome" is something we all can relate to? 
  • Can art be a gateway to science?

Fakta om landsbyen - MFEL4851

Course code: MFEL4851
Village title: The Personal Genome
Type: Semester-based, virtual
Language: English
Village supervisor: Barbara van Loon

Undervises: Spring 2021
Location: Online

Students must have a computer with camera and microphone.   
In this village there is mandatory attendance to:   

  • The village meetings every Wednesday at 12.00-15.00.
  • Weekley group meetings. Each team has a certain flexibility to schedule their meeting time every week   
  • Individual work between village meetings and group meetings  

Important information about EiT

Important information about EiT:

  • The focus on teamwork skills and group processes is the unique feature of Experts in Teamwork (EiT)
  • EiTs teaching methods depend on the contribution and presence of every participant throughout the semester. For this reason, attendance is compulsory on every village day.
  • In contrast to many courses, the first few days are especially important in EiT. During this period, get to know each other and discuss what each individual can contribute. You will also draw up the compulsory cooperation agreement and start preparing a shared research question.
  • For additional information about Experts in Teamwork, see page for students