BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
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 deseases.
4. Students will appraise the implication of human evolution for understanding human physiological and pathological responses.
basic knowledge of chemistry and physics
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. Finnally, We discuss the implication of Evolutionary Therìories for medicine, the so called "Darwinian Medicine".
1.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. Prokaryotic cell and 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 Mytosis.
4. Sexual reproduction and Meiosis. Cost and benefit of sexual reproduction. Gamete formation and hormonal control in mammals. Adaptive significance of sexual reproduction: sexual selection and parental investment. Development and Evolution of sex differences. Gender medicine.
5. Genetic. Mendel and the gene idea. Mendelian genetic and its extension. Chromosomal bases of inheritance: Morgan experiments. Sex chromosomes and inheritance of related genes. Chromosomal determination of sex. Examples and exercises. Multifactorial disorders.
6.Molecular bases of inheritance and gene expression: from genes to proteins.Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotic (the operon) and eukaryotic cells. Epigenetics. Genomics, Trascrptomics and Proteomics.
7. Mechanisms of evolution. Darwinian theory and the modern synthesis. Hardy-Weinberg principle and microevolutionary processess. Macroevolution.
8- Evolution of vertebrates. Mammals, Primates and the origin of Hominins. The genus Homo. Brain and language evolution. The social brain hypothesis.
9. Behavioral Biology: proximal and ultimate causes . Nature vs Nurture debate. Genes and behavior. Imprinting and the Attachment theory. Epigenetic effects of early experience. Social behavior and the role of oxytocin.
9- Darwinian Medicine and Evolutionary psychology.
Campbell N., Reece et al. BIOLOGY. Pearson ed.;
Solomon et al. BIOLOGY. Cengage Learning ed. 2018.
Nesse RM, Williams G. Why we get sick.
Ridley M. Genome. Collins
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).
Assessment methods and criteria
Exam consists of a written test composed by multiple choice, short answer and free-answer questions. The written test consists of 50 multiple choice, short-answer or T-F questions, and free-answers tests based 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.
In case of the persistence of the health emergency, the exams will be conducted remotely, as a structured written test followed by an oral discussion ( by Teams and Elly).
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...
The final score is calculated on the basis of the test results.