Learning outcomes of the course unit
The main objective of the course is the knowledge of basic notions and principles of the structure and function of the cell and its components, and the sexual and asexual reproduction. This knowledge will be important for a better understanding of topics faced and discussed in other courses
Course contents summary
Brief introduction on basic properties and components of living organisms (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Origin of life. The study of Viruses and bacteria precedes that of the cell and its main components. Basic principles of Transcription and Translation of the genetic information are then discussed. In the second section the study of reproduction (bacteric, viral and cellular) is faced, followed by that of the gametogenesis and fertilization.
1. Molecules of life: proteins, lipids, nucleic acids and carbohydrates
2. Origin of life: the experiment of S. Miller.
3. Viruses and bacteria
4. Structure, function and evolution of the eukaryotic cell and its components: biological membranes, transport of micromolecules, sodium; potassium pump and membrane potential, exocytosis and endocytosis; cytosol; cell organelles (nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes and peroxisomes); chromosomes, chromatin and karyotype
5. Trascription and translation of genetic information (protein synthesis). RNA polymerase,
t-RNA, r-RNA, m-RNA, ribosomes. The genetic code
6. asexual and sexual (meiosis) reproduction (mitosis) Cell cycle, duplication of semiconservative DNA, mitosis, meiosis (crossing over, genetic recombination, independent assortment of homologous chromosomes), evolution of sexuality
7. Gametogenesis and fertilization, egg and sperm, ovulation, mechanisms that prevent polyspermy.
Fondamenti di Biologia (E. P. Solomon et al.)
Principi di Biologia (N. A. Campbell et al.)
Frontal lessons aided by Powerpoint presentations and lightning projector
Assessment methods and criteria
Written examination (quiz) structured in the form of a list of questions each with multiple answers