This course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge of fundamental characteristics of living organisms. In particular, it aims to provide students with the basic knowledge of fundamental biological structures - biological molecules, cells, tissues - and their functioning.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will gain knowledge of the main inorganic and organic components of living organisms, nucleic acid and protein synthesis and related basic regulation, the main functions of nucleic acids and proteins, and transmission of information from DNA to proteins, both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Students will also gain knowledge of the molecular organization and functions of subcellular organelles and membrane systems in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells as well as cell division processes of eukaryotic cells.
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Classification of living organisms. Division into Kingdoms: Bacteria, Archaeologists, Protists, Mushrooms, Plants and Animals. Biodiversity and the origin of life. Chemical composition of living matter. Biological macromolecules. Structure and functions of proteins. Structure and functions of nucleic acids. DNA as hereditary material. General information on the structure of the eukaryotic gene. From genes to proteins: transcription and translation. Energy and metabolism. Chemo-autotrophic, photo-autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. Enzymes: nature and properties. The concept of the metabolic pathway. The eukaryotic cell and its compartmentalization. Comparison of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Structure and functions of the eukaryotic cell. Notes on the study methods of cells and tissues. The nucleus. Chromatin and chromosomes. The endomembrane system and intracellular compartments. The cytoskeleton. The mitochondrion. Lysosomes and peroxisomes. The extracellular matrix. Composition, structure and role of the plasma membrane. Transport through the membrane. Intercellular junctions and the organization of cells in tissues. Interaction of organisms with the external environment. Cellular communication mechanisms. Reproduction of cells and organisms. Asexual, sexual reproduction and its evolutionary importance. The cell cycle and notes on its control. Mechanisms of programmed cell death: apoptosis. Uncontrolled cell proliferation: cancer. Comparison between somatic and germ cells through the processes of mitotic and meiotic division. General information on the mechanisms of fertilization and the early stages of embryonic development.
Prerequisites for admission
No knowledge are required
Il corso consiste in lezioni frontali e di esercitazioni pratiche Tutto il materiale didattico viene caricato sulla piattaforma Ariel e reso disponibile agli studenti. Include: i PDF delle lezioni tenute in classe, link a volumi elettronici, video mostrati a lezione
Becker W.M., Kleinsmith L.J., Hardin J. Gregory G.P, Il mondo della cellula, settima edizione Pearson, 2009. Alberts B., Johnson A., Lewis J., Raff M., Roberts K., Walter P., L'essenziale di Biologia molecolare della cellula, terza edizione, Zanichelli, 2011.
Assessement methods and criteria
Learning will be assessed by means of a written examination with both multiple choice questions as well as open questions Attendance is required to be allowed to take the exam.