Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student is asked to understand and learn the content of the course. Attendance to lessons, which is mandatory, will allow the student to acquire skills appropriate to describe, communicate effectively, use independence of judgment and comment features, functions, structure and the metabolic role of the main bio-molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes and co-enzymes, water and fat soluble vitamins); the mechanisms of metabolic energy production, energetic and structural homeostasis of living cells; structure and function of eukaryotic genes, replication of DNA, gene expression, DNA repair; the main metabolic pathways and their regulation; structure and functions of hormones, endocrine regulation of the metabolism; metabolic and biochemical correlations between organs and tissues under normal and pathological conditions; the molecular basis of human diseases; research approaches to molecular medicine and translational research.
Before taking the exam of "Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare" students have to pass:
1) Chimica e propedeutica Biochimica
2) Istologia ed embriologia
Course contents summary
The course provides basic knowledge on the molecular aspects of the transmission of genetic information. The course initially introduces the basics of the concept of inheritance, and then introduces nucleic acids as molecules able to ensure the transmission of the genetic information through DNA replication, RNA transcription and proteins translation. Then will be introduced the concepts of DNA damage/mutation and the impact of DNA mutation on human health. Finally the course will provide the basis for the knowledge of the main techniques used for DNA/RNA manipulation, and their application in various fields of research, diagnosis, forensic medicine and treatment of human diseases.
Molecular basis of genetic information. Composition and structure of nucleic acids. Chromatine, chromosomes and genes. DNA replication, DNA recombination, DNA damage and mutation, DNA repair. Cell aging and cancer. Types of RNA: structure and functions. Mechanisms and regulation of transcription. Genetic code and its properties. Protein synthesis and its regulation. Regulation of gene expression in eucaryotes. Molecular biology techniques: DNA sequencing and cloning, restriction enzymes and restriction maps, transgenes and transgenic organisms. Recombinant DNA technology in forensic medicine. Gene therapy.
JD Watson et al.: Biologia Molecolare del gene. Zanichelli, Bologna.
Nelson DL, Cox MM: I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli, Bologna.
Devlin TM: Biochimica con aspetti clinici. Wiley-Liss, New York
The course will be held with oral lectures and seminars to deep single issues, and will make use of multimedia systems. During the lessons, students will have the opportunity to discuss the key aspects of the course. Teachers will be available throughout the duration of the course to answer questions and support students during their training with individual meetings by appointment.
Assessment methods and criteria
Multiple choice test. If the test is successful, the student can ask to proceed with the grade recording or to take an integrative oral examination. In the event that the student's preference falls on the second option, the final grade will be the average of the results reported in the two tests.