Learning outcomes of the course unit
Applied Biochemistry is part of the main course Veterinary Biochemistry. The primary objective of the course is to provide the students with the fundamentals of molecular biology and cellular biology, focusing on the basic concepts and applications related to veterinary medicine. A main topic of the course will be the study of the molecular mechanisms that rule the flow of the genetic information and its regulation, both in the physiological and pathological state of the organism. Furthermore, in the course, the basis of DNA manipulation and the essential diagnostic techniques related to DNA analysis will be illustrated. Finally, the basis of animal cloning and transgenesis will be discussed.
The student by the end of the course should be able to
1. Acquire a strong knowledge and comprehension of the critical concepts of molecular biology, as a fundamental discipline that describes the molecular and cellular mechanism of conservation, transmission and use of the genetic information.
2. Exhibit autonomy of judgement, demonstrating not only specific competence about the different topics of the course but also to be able to understand and describe the functional relationships.
3. Demonstrate adequate communicative skills concerning acquired knowledge, in particular concerning the specific scientific language. The student should be able to deal with a subject methodically and illustrate what learnt in a clear and logic manner, giving the proper attention to the interlocutors.
4. Contextualise the acquired knowledge and relate the subjects of the course with the other courses, demonstrating the ability to apply his knowledge in an organised, coherent way (For example, the student should be able to translate his knowledge from the molecular to the cellular and, finally, to the systemic level).
Course contents summary
The flow of the genetic information: Nucleic acids: DNA and RNA. Genes, chromosomes and chromatin. Duplication and maintenance of genomic DNA. DNA transcription in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Protein synthesis. The cell cycle.
Fundamentals of molecular biology: recombinant DNA and gene cloning. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR and RT-PCR), Southern and Northern blotting
Applications of the molecular diagnostics and of the recombinant biotechnologies to the diagnosis and prevention of diseases. Cloning and manipulation of the animal genome: technical approaches and biological events (fundamentals).
NELSON D.L., COX M.M: I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli (VII ed., 2018)
Alberts B.,Bray D., Hopkin K., Johnson A., Lewis J., Raff M., Roberts K., Walter P.: L¡¦essenziale di biologia molecolare della cellule, Zanichelli (IV ed., 2015)
Oral lesson and laboratory
Assessment methods and criteria
The verification of the achievement of the objectives foresees a single exam with “Biochemistry I” and “Biochemistry II” modules.
Regarding the Applied Biochemistry module, the exam includes an oral exam, where the student must answer two questions, demonstrating a good understanding and ability to describe the topics covered by the course (first question), and also the ability to integrate the different topics (second question). The capacity for expression through a terminology appropriate to the subject is considered essential.
Students with a diagnosis of specific learning disorders (DSA), certified according to the law n. 170/2010 will be granted the benefits provided by law.