Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objective of the course is to provide to students the general principles of System Biology, elucidating them with examples taken from Biotechnology, and providing instruments to understand the literature in the field.
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
• Describe the main omics techniques described in the course
• Describe biological network
• Use the main databases and web services available on-line
• Read, describe and discuss scientific articles on topics described in class
Some previous knowledge of general biology, molecular biology and genetics is highly advisable, as well A a suitable level of English to read references in the language.
Course contents summary
System Biology is the systematic and quantitative investigation of cell functions, cells and organisms, spanning the link between molecular biology and physiology. It is based on knowledge of molecular, chemical and physical processes underlying these functions, integrated with a modellinstic mathematical approach. System Biology stems from the new methods for experimental analysis, based on the sequencing of whole genomes and on high-throughput analytical methodologies (genomics, transcriptomics). System Biology sees the cell as a "chemical factory" in which substances from outside are processed to provide energy and materials, in sophisticated processes performed by specialised molecules encoded by the DNA.
The topics will include:
-General concepts on networks, systems, graphs
-Properties of the networks
-Molecular techniques in the study of biological systems (omics): DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites
-Databases and web services for creating networks
The study material is provided by the teacher and available partially as a booklet and on Elly. It will be based on papers from the international literature and on slides shown during the lectures. Textbooks will be suggested if needed.
Face to face lectures in the classroom, practical demonstrations of databases and web services, analysis of case studies
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam, including an in depth study on a topic selected according to instruztions from the lecturers.
The exam will assess the acquisition of competence, the capacity to apply knowledge, authonomy in the choice of the topic, and communication ability.