Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of this course:
1. Students should have a knowledge and understanding of biological facts, terms, principles, concepts, relationships and experimental techniques and of the correlation between structure and function at the different organizational levels.
2. Students should be able to apply an evolutionary perspective to interpreting the biological phenomena at different levels of organization (molecular, cellular, organismic) and to apply, where possible, their knowledge and understanding of biology and evolution in in medical research and practice.
3. students should acquire a knowledge of genetic principles and develop the ability to read, design and evaluate genetic pedegrees in order to assess the genetic basis of human disorders.
4. Appraise the implication of human evolution for understanding human physiological and pathological responses.
basic knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology.
Course contents summary
The purpose of this course is to give a comprehensive overview of biological concepts and genetic principles and to gain an appreciation of the importance that Biology plays in medicine.
The first part of the course illustrates general concepts and principles of biology, the theory of Evolution as a unifying framework, cell biology and reproduction, sexual reproduction and gametogenesis.
The second part focalizes on genetics, from Mendel’s and Morgan’s experiments to human genetics and pedigree analysis, gene structure and expression.
The third part examines the relations between population genetic and evolution, speciation processes, Vertebrate evolution, including mammals and primates, to Hominids.
The fourth part focalizes on teeth and jaws evolution in mammals, particularly in Hominids, in relation to dietary habits.
1. The Nature of science and biology: methods and organizing concepts. Diversity and unity of Life on Earth, emergent properties, correlation between structure and function, the Scientific method. The unifying principle of biology: The Theory of Evolution.
2. The chemical context of life: water and the structure and function of macromolecules. Origins and evolution of life on Earth.
3. Cell Biology. Procaryotic ed Eucaryotic cells. Membrane structure and function. Cell metabolism and energy trasformations. The reproduction of cells and cell cycle (binary scission and mitosis).
4. Sexual Riproduction. Meiosis and sexual life cycles. Oogenesis, Spermatogenesis and Hormonal regulation of reproduction in mammals. Evolution, consequences and adaptive significance of sexual reproduction. Parental Investment and sexual selection. Development and evolution of sex differences. Gender Medicine.
5. Genetics. - Mendel e the gene idea. Extension of mendelian genetics: the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype (incomplete dominance, multiple alleles, pleiotropy, epistasis, poligenic inheritance, nature vs nurture). The chromosomal basis of inheritance: Morgan’s experiments and chromosome maps. The chromosomal basis of ses and X-linked disorders. Human genetics: alterations of chromosome number or structure; recessively and dominantly inherited disorders. Genetic disorders in oral medicine. Multifactorial diseases.
6. The molecular basis of inheritance: DNA structure and replication. From gene to protein: Transcription, Translation and the genetic code. Point mutations. Regulation of gene expression in Procaryotic and eucaryotic cells. The Genome project.
7. Evolution. The Darwinian theory. Evidence from many fields validates the evolution theory. The modern evolutionary synthesis. The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem. Microevolution and its caueses. The origin of species. Macroevolution and Phylogeny.
8. Vertebrate diversity and phylogeny: an overview. Mammalian characteristics and Evolution of Primates. Jaws and teeth evolution.
9. Human Evolution. Early Anthropoids, Australopitecines and the genus Homo. Evolution of brain and language. Evolution of the stomatognathic apparatus and diet in Ominids.
10. The evolutionary perspective in medicine: “Darwininan Medicine”.
Campbell N., Reece et al.Principles of Biology. Pearson ed.
SOLOMON et al. Fondamenti di Biologia. EDISES
The course will be held through lectures to Students either in the classroom (“in presenza”) or in synchronous-streaming (“in telepresenza”) on the Teams platform. Therefore, the opportunity of Student/Teacher interaction will be preserved both face to face and remotely, by the simultaneous use of the Teams platform.
Lectures will be supported by slide presentations, videos annd scientific papers which will be available to students on the Elly platform (https://elly2020.medicina.unipr.it).
Classroom lectures. Characterized by interactive lectures accompanied by a) seminar on major topic and b) reading and discussing a scientific paper by the students. This allow the student to acquire a better understanding of topic and also improve learning capacities. Discussion settings of small groups of students will examine relevant biological issues.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written test followed by an oral exam.
The written test consists of 60 multiple choice questions on the course contents (reference texts + documents uploaded to Elly during the course). There is no penalty for incorrect answers. The final mark will correspond to the arithmetic average of the assessments obtained in the written test and in the oral discussion.
Students with SLD / BSE must first contact Le Eli-che: support for students with disabilities, D.S.A., B.E.S. (https://sea.unipr.it/it/servizi/le-eli-che-supporto-studenti-con-disabil...
Course information on Elly unipr website