APPLIED BIOLOGY AND GENERAL GENETICS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of this course is to give the student attending this course for the nursery degree 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)
- understanding the correlation between structure and function at the different organizational levels and the implication of human evolution for the bio-medical research. In this perspective it is important in the nursery professional skill to understand teh biological bases of human behavior. This will increase the ability to communicate professionally not only with the MD doctors but also with their patients.
The course has as its formative objective to provide a basic knowledge in general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry, to enable the students to understand the chemical bases of life, the structural and functional principles of molecules of biological interest; the metabolic pathways, their connexions and regulations.
The constitution of matter, elements and compounds. The fundamental particles of the atom. Atomic number and mass number. Atomic weight and molecular weight. Isotopes. Ions: cations and anions.
The periodic table and the electronic configuration of the elements of biological interest.
Electronegativity and chemical bonding: ionic and covalent bonding. Polarity of the molecules. Valence and oxidation number.
Fundamentals of inorganic chemistry: formulas and names of the most common inorganic compounds.
The principle of conservation of mass and charge: Balance of simple chemical reactions (oxidation-reduction and salting). Mole concept, conversion from grams to moles and vice versa, stoichiometry elementary. The solutions: what is a solution, the main ways of expressing the concentration of solutions.
Course contents summary
The purpose of this course of Biology is to give students the ability to learn and appreciate the importance of biological thinking for the cultural background of nursery professional practice. 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 such as molecular bases of life, cellular biology, genetic, reproduction , animal and human behavior are approached in nthe light of the mechanisms of evolution. This lecturing program is tailored on the potential professional application of nursery practice which require skill concerning the healing of the “body” as well as of the “psyche”.
Prerequisites of general inorganic chemistry.
Organic chemistry: functional groups and their reactivity.
Macromolecules: amminoacids and proteins; carbohydrates; lipids.
1 The foundation and core of biological sciences: the theory of evolution
2. 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. 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.
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.
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.
i) Chemistry prerequisites:
-Elements and compounds. Composition of the atom: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Atomic number and mass number. Isotopes. Ions: cations and anions.
-The periodic table and the electron configuration for elements with biological interest.
-Electronegativity and chemical bonding. Ionic bonding and covalent bonding. Pure covalent bond and polarized covalent bond. Polar molecules. Valence and oxidation number.
-Fundamentals of inorganic chemistry: naming and writing formulas of simple common compounds
(oxides, acids, salts..)
-Aqueous solutions. Concentration units : molarity and percent fraction.
-Water : chemical and physical properties. Water as a solvent: weak interactions in aqueous solutions. Dipole-dipole intermolecular interactions, hydrogen bonding and Van der Waals bond.
Osmosis. Water ionization. Acids and bases. pH. Buffer solutions and their biological significance.
Iintroduction. Hydrocarbons and functional groups with biological interest. Naming and writing formulas of simple organic compounds. Isomerism.
Types of reactions in biochemistry.
Structure and function of macromolecules:
a)amminoacids as structural units of proteins. Peptidic bond and protein structure. Structure-function relationship: mioglobin and hemoglobin. Enzymes, coenzymes and cofactors.
b) Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.
c) Lipids: fatty acids, tryglicerides and phospholipids.
Introduction to metabolism. Catabolism. Anabolism. General aspects of metabolism regulation.
Energy production and energy storage in the living cell. Some basic principles of bioenergetics. High-energy compounds. ATP.
Cellular respiration and carbohydrates metabolism.
The fatty acid beta-oxidation.
Solomon et al, Biology
"CHIMICA E BIOCHIMICA per le lauree triennali dell'area biomedica".Ed. Piccin Nuova Libraria s.p.a. Padova.
Classroom lectures. Characterized by interactive lectures accompanied by one or two seminars on major topics. This allow the student to acquire a better understanding of topic and also improve learning capacities.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written test composed by multiple choice questions.
Written tests and oral examination