Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of this course is to give the student the ability to:
- acquire the basic principles of biological sciences and methods.
- learn and apply an evolutionary logic and perspective to interpreting the biological phenomena at different levels of organization (molecular, cellular, organismic)
- understand the correlation between structure and function at the different organizational levels.
- Acquire a biological perspective to the analysis of human behavior
basic knowledge of chemistry and Physics
Course contents summary
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, Proximate and Ultimate causes. The Scientific method. The unifying principle of biology: The Theory of Evolution.
2. Origins and evolution of life on Earth. Procaryotic cells and evolution of Eucaryotic cells and methazoa. Evolution, consequences and adaptive significance of sexual reproduction.
3. Evolution. The Darwinian theory. The modern evolutionary synthesis. The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem. Microevolution and its causes. The origin of species. Macroevolution and Phylogeny. Darwinian Medicine.
4. Evolution of Vertebrates. Chordate characteristics and the vertebrate genealogy: an overview.. Evolutionary trends in Primates.
5. Human evolution. Early Antyhropoids, Australopitecines and the genus Homo. The evolution and consequences of bipedal locomotion in Ominids.
6. Biological Basis of human behavior: Basic concepts of genetic and evolution of behavior. Hormones, aggression and agonistic activity. Evolutionary Bio-psychology.
classes and discussion
written and oral exam