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.
- Appraise the implication of human evolution for the bio-medical research
Basic knowledge of physics and chemistry
Course contents summary
The purpose of this course is to give a general overview of biological concepts and mechanisms in an evolutionary persèective and to gain an appreciation of the importance that biology plays in understanding human health.
1. The Nature of science and biology: methods and organizing concepts. The unifying principle of biology: The Theory of Evolution. Origins and evolution of life on Earth. Procaryotic and Eucaryotic cell.
2. The cell cycle and reproduction: mitosis and meiosis. Male and female gametogenesis and their hormonal regulation.
3. Mendelian genetics and X-linked heredity. Genetic disorders in humans: pattern of inheritance and pedigree. The resource in OMIM.
4.The modern evolutionary synthesis. Microevolution and its causes. The origins of species. Evolution of Vertebrates and the rise of Hominids. The evolution of bipedal locomotion in Hominids.
During classroom lectures I will illustrate and discuss the state of the art, concepts and experiments in the specific issue of biology. The lectures will be in an interactive format and students are strongly encouraged to ask questions and insert comments
Assessment methods and criteria
A written exam will be given during class time comprising of 32 multiple choice, short answer or T-F questions (minus 1 for each error) and 2 open–answer questions (score 0,1 or 2)
Final exam, which has to be taken together with the other topics of the integrated course, is written and as described above