Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
Knowledge of the basic concepts of physics, chemistry and genetics.
Lectures are planned (6 credits) as well as laboratory practises (1 CFU).
Knowledge. At the end of the course students will have acquired the knowledge of the structure of biological macromolecules and of the general aspects of living organisms, the organization and functions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, the molecular mechanisms responsible for flow of gene information from DNA to proteins, processes of gametogenesis and fertilization and the transmission of hereditary characters.
Ability to apply knowledge. At the end of the course students must be able to distinguish the main biological macromolecules, to understand the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, to recognize structures and cellular organelles, and the phases of the cell cycle. Moreover knowledge of the karyotype, meiosis, gametogenesis and the basic principles of Mendelian genetics will allow to understand the mechanisms of transmission of characters in organisms.
Soft skills. Through laboratory practices students will acquire autonomy in judgment and communication skills also arising from work in groups.
General features of living matter. The cell theory. Chemical composition of living matter: the biological importance of water. The major classes of biological compounds: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids.
Main cell study methods, the compound light microscope, the electron microscope. Virus. Morphology and metabolism of prokaryotic cell. The eukaryotic cell: plasma membrane (structure and function), cytoskeleton (microtubules, microfilaments and intermediate filaments), rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, peroxisomes, exocytosis and endocytosis, cilia and flagella, mitochondria, chloroplasts, nucleus and nucleolus, cell junctions, cell communication (synaptic signaling, endocrine and neuroendocrine).
Information flow of living matter. DNA replication, transcription in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, maturation of mRNA, rRNA and tRNA. The apparatus of translation: ribosomes and tRNAs, the genetic code, translation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. post-translational modifications and post-synthetic fate of proteins. The concept of the gene. The organization of the genome. The regulation of gene expression.
Cell division: cell cycle regulation. Mitosis. Meiosis. The human karyotype. Mendel's laws. autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, sex-linked inheritance. Non-Mendelian inheritance.
Asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction: spermatogenesis, oogenesis. Ovarian and uterine cycle. Fertilization and basical elements of embryology.
The laboratory practices are based on key course topics such as the use of light microscopy for the study of cells, the nucleic acids, the karyotype, mitosis, and genetics.
Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
Learning will be evaluated by oral exam.
Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
During the oral exam the knowledge and understanding of the study subjects will be assessed by questions with different levels of difficulty on the topics covered.
Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final mark will take into account the accuracy of contents and the terminology used by the student to answer the questions.
Criteria for conferring final mark:
The final mark will be assigned on the basis of the student's ability to provide answers that demonstrate mastery of the subject.
Chieffi et al. Biologia e Genetica (Edises). Donati et al., Campbell. Biologia e Genetica (Pearson). Colombo e Olmo Biologia (Edi-Ermes).