Learning outcomes of the course unit
the main purpose is to stimulate the interest for biological topics trough the hypothetic-deductive logic applied in science. For this reason all the full understanding of the subjects is obtained by the study of the experiments by which the major discoveries have been obtained and allowed the development of theories. This is pivotal for the students future ability to observe , make hypotheses and planning experiments to test the hypothesis. This will also increase the student capacity to communicate and use the acquired knowledge .
Course contents summary
The purpose of this course is to give students the ability to learn and appreciate the importance of scientific method and biological thinking ( especially general biology and genetic) for the cultural background of graduates in biomedical laboratory technician. . 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 ( focused mainly on animal biology) such as molecular bases of life, cellular biology, genetic, reproduction , animal and human behavior are necessarily approached with a good knowledge of the mechanisms of evolution. This lecturing program is tailored on the potential professional application of a graduate in laboratory technician to understand the various experimental approach used by biologists to understand the mechanisms involved at different levels of biological organization.
The foundation and core of biological sciences: the theory of evolution
2. Chemistry of life. Biological macromolecules and their functions. Origin and evolution of life on earth. 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. Basic understanding of cell metabolism: glycolisis and oxidative rerspiration. 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.Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotic cells (the operon) and eukaryotic cell.
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. Primate evolution : hominids , the genus Homo and brain 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.
Solomon et al Fondamenti di Biologia EDISES *
Elementi di Biologia Campbell et al. Pearson*
Biologia e Genetica Palanza e Parmigiani. Edizioni S.Croce (Parma)
* easily found in the English version
lectures are interactive and include seminars prepared by students on scientific papers related to the programme This is intended to increase students capacity of analysis and synthesis and to achieve a better knowledge of the subjects.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written examinations consisting of multyiple choice quiz and /or open questions