Biology, chemistry and general biochemistry

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
BIO/10 BIO/13
Learning objectives
The course provides basic notions in general and organic chemistry for understanding cellular mechanisms and in cellular biology, organelle composition, structure, and function, subcellular elements in muscle cell motility. The course also looks into the mechanisms that govern cell division, gene expression, and the biological/reproductive cycles of living organisms. Other topics include the structure and function of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, enzymatic catalysis, cellular energy processes, and metabolic pathways in organisms.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will acquire theoretical knowledge of biological processes at the cell level and the chemical and biochemical events essential for life. Students will gain an understanding of how the structure and composition of cellular elements relate to their function. Other topics include the main components in cell metabolism, their reactions and how they are regulated, and the major biological mechanisms that govern an organism's life cycle.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Course syllabus
- Material: properties and composition; substances, elements, and compounds
- Atomic structure: atomic number and mass
- Atomic orbits: energy levels and quantum numbers
- Electron configuration of the elements; Pauli's exclusion principle, ions and molecules
- The periodic system: the periodic chart; periodic properties; atomic rays; ionizing energy; electron affinity; electronegativity; metals, non-metals, semimetals
- Chemical bonds: ion, covalent, dative, metallic; octet rule, exceptions to the octet rule; valence bond theory, valence bonds (sigma and pi bonds)
- Hybridization, hybrid orbitals; sp, sp2, sp3 hybridization in carbon
- Valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory
Intermolecular bonds: ion-dipole interaction, Van der Waals forces, hydrogen bridge bonds
- Absolute and relative atomic mass, mole, and Avogadro's constant
- Gaseous, liquid, solid, colloidal solutions. Water. Ways of expressing concentration in a solution
- Solubility, diffusion, osmosis, osmotic pressure; raising the boiling point, lowering the freezing point, lowering vapor pressure
- Ionic balance in solutions; Le Chatellier's principle; water dissociation, ionic product of water; acid and base; pH; buffer solutions, buffer solution in blood
- Kinetics of chemical reactions; catalysis; chemical equilibrium; effect of temperature on the equilibrium constant
General biochemistry
- Functional groups of organic compounds: hydro silicon, carbonyl, carboxyl, ammines, isomers
- Biological macromolecules
- Proteins: structure and function; oxygen-binding proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin
- Enzymes
- Principles of bioenergy. ATP and high-energy compounds, ATP synthesis: substrate phosphorylation, oxidative phosphorylation
- General aspects of metabolism: anabolism and catabolism
- Carbohydrate metabolism
- Lipid metabolism
- Protein metabolism
- Composition of organic matter and its biological-structural organization
- Composition, structure, function of the cell membrane
- Structure and function of cell organelles
- Structure of cytoskeletal molecules characterizing motility in myocells
- Function of the plasma membrane: transport, communication, anchoring
- Basic mechanisms of cell division and gene expression
- Biological/reproductive cycles in organisms
Prerequisites for admission
No previous knowledge required.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons in the lecture hall.
Teaching Resources
Reading list:
Tiziana Bellini
Chimica medica e propedeutica biochimica
Ed. Zanichelli

Mario Anastasia
Chimica di base per le scienze della vita
Ed. Antonio Delfino

Antonio di Giulio, Amelia Fiorilli, Claudio Stefanelli (a cura di)
Biochimica per le scienze motorie
Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

Siliprandi N. & Tettamanti G.
Biochimica Medica. Strutturale, metabolica e funzionale.
Editore Piccin

Bonaldo Duga, Pierantoni, Riva, Romanelli
Biologia e Genetica
EDISES IV edizione
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is divided into three written sections (chemistry, general biology, biology). The chemistry and general biology exam consists of 16 multiple choice questions; the biology exam is composed of 13 multiple choice and 2 open questions. A minimum grade of 18/30 points on each of the three sections is necessary to pass, with the final grade based on the average of the grade obtained for the three exam sections.
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
BIO/13 - EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 63 hours
By appointment
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Mediche e Medicina Traslazionale via Fratelli Cervi 93 Segrate (MI)
By appointment by mail/phone
via F.lli Cervi 93-LITA Segrate