Learning outcomes of the course unit
The specific aim is to stimulate the student's interest in biological disciplines. Knowledges and learning of hypothetic-deductive logic of science will be achieved through the study of the crucial experiments that made up the science of Biology and the most important biological theories. The students attending the course will develop critical thinking and capacity to design experiments to test scientific hypotheses . In this connection students will increase their learning skill and their capacity to communicate scientific knowledges.
Course contents summary
The purpose of this course of Biology for Medicine is to give students the ability to learn and appreciate the importance of biological thinking for the cultural background of a medical doctor. The evolutionary approach is the core theme of the present course. In fact the theory of evolution is the unifying core of the biological sciences ranging from molecule activities to behavior of organisms. In this connection the various topics ( focused mainly on animal biology) such as molecular bases of life, cellular biology, genetic, reproduction , animal and human behavior are necessarily approached s with a good knowledge of the mechanisms of evolution. This lecturing program is tailored on the potential professional application of a Medical Doctor which is ranging from the healing of the “body” (eg. Clinical pathology, surgery) as well as of the “psyche” (eg. Clinical psychology and psychiatry, neuropsychiatry)
1 The foundation and core of biological sciences: the theory of evolution
2. Chemistry of life. Biological macromolecules and their functions. Origin and evolution of life on earth. Origin of the cell: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cell. The endosymbiontic theory of eukaryotic cell evolution.
3. Cell Biology with particular emphasis on Eukaryotic cell. Structures and functions of cell components. Cell cycle and asexual reproduction .Mytosis and cell cycle. Basic understanding of cell metabolism: glycolisis and oxidative rerspiration. Evolution of sexual reproduction. Meiosis and cell sexual cycle. Cost and benefit of sexual reproduction. Gamete formation and hormonal control of sexual reproduction (mammals in particular). Adaptive significance of sexual reproduction : sexual selection and parental investment.
4. Genetic. Mendel and the gene idea. Mendelian genetic and its extension. Chromosomal bases of inheritance: morgan experiments. Linked genes and the mapping of genes. Sex chromosomes and inheritance of related genes. Chromosomal determination of sex . Human genetic. Molecular bases of inheritance and gene expression: from genes to proteins.Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotic cells (the operon) and eukaryotic cell.
5. Mechanisms of evolution. Darwinian theory the past and the modern synthesis(neo-darwinian theory) Hardy-weinberg principle and microevolutionary processess. Macroevolution. the origin of secies and higher taxa. Human evolution. Primate evolution : hominids , the genus Homo and brain evolution.
6. Behavioral Biology: proximal and ultimate causes . Instinct and learning: nature vs nurture debate. Genes and behavior. Understanding hormonal regulation of behavior. Social behavior . basic understanding of Evolutionary psychology principles.
Campbell et al. Biology
Solomon et al Biology
Palanza e Parmigiani Biologia e Genetica S.Croce edizioni -Parma
Teaching is characterized by: a) classroom lecturing but very interactive with the lecturer b) seminars on crucial topics c) reading and discussing scientific papers by students and d) guided visit to laboratories. These activities(b,c and d in particular) will be scheduled to faciliatate the understanding and learning of topics delivered during the classroom lecturing activities.
Assessment methods and criteria
Exam encompassess the following verification steps: a) 1 or 2 written tests ( multiple choice quiz ) b) final exams(at the end of the semester) composed by a written test that , if positive, allow the student access to the oral examination in front of at least two professors of the integrated course . The final score is calculated on the basis of the scores obtained in each items that are part of the Biology, Genetic and Psychology integrated course.