Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of this course is to give the student the ability to:
- acquire the basic principles of biological sciences and methods.
- learn and apply an evolutionary logic and perspective to interpreting the biological phenomena at different levels of organization (molecular, cellular, organismic)
- understand the correlation between structure and function at the different organizational levels.
- Acquire a biological perspective to the analysis of human behavior
- Appraise the implication of human evolution for the bio-medical research
Course contents summary
1. The Nature of science and biology: methods and organizing concepts. The unifying principle of biology: The Theory of Evolution. Darwinian Medicine. The Chemistry of life. Origins and evolution of life on Earth
2. Cell Biology. Procaryotic and Eucaryotic cell. The cell cycle and reproduction: mitosis and meiosis. Male and female gametogenesis and their hormonal regulation. Evolution, consequences and adaptive significance of sexual reproduction.
3. The modern evolutionary synthesis. The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem. Microevolution and its causes. The origin of species. Macroevolution and Phylogeny. Evolution of Vertebrates: an overview. Evolution of the mammalian middle ear. Primates, Australopitecines and the genus Homo. The evolution of bipedal locomotion and brain in Hominids.
4. Biological Basis of human behavior: Basic concepts of genetic and evolution of behavior. The debate Nature vs Nurture. Imprinting and the attachment Theory. Evolutionary Bio-psychology.
Solomon et al., Biology
Assessment methods and criteria
written and oral exam.