Biology, chemistry and general biochemistry

A.Y. 2020/2021
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
Teaching methods
Lessons will be held online in synchronous mode on Microsoft Teams platform, according to the timetable. They will be recorded and will be made available to students on the corresponding Ariel teaching platform.

Course syllabus and Teaching Resources
The program and reference material will not be changed.

Assessment methods and Criteria
If it will not be possible to carry out "in-person" exams, they will be held orally using Microsoft Teams.
Course syllabus
- Composition of organic matter and its biological-structural organization.
- Composition, structure and function of the cell membranes.
- Structure and function of the cell organelles.
- Structures and cytoskeletal molecules characterizing motility in muscle cells.
- Function of the plasma membrane: transport, communication, anchoring.
- Basic mechanisms of cell division and gene expression.
- Biological/reproductive cycles in organisms.

- The matter: properties and composition, pure substances and mixtures.
- Structure of the atom: atomic number and mass number, relative atomic mass, isotopes, atomic orbitals, quantum numbers and electron configurations.
- The periodic table of elements and periodic properties.
- Chemical bonds: ionic bond, covalent bond (homopolar and heteropolar), dative bond, and metallic bond.
- Ions and Molecules: atomic and molecular weights, mole, and Avogadro's number.
- Weak intermolecular interactions: hydrogen bonds, dipole-dipole attractions, ion-dipole interactions, Van der Waals forces, and hydrophobic interactions.
- Chemical kinetics: activation energy and reaction rate.
- Chemical reactions: equilibrium reaction, reversible and irreversible reactions.
- Control of chemical reactions: effect of temperature, concentration of the reactants, and catalysts.
- Redox reactions.
- Acids and bases: dissociation costants, ionic product of water, pH.
- Acid-base reactions: salts, buffer solutions.
- Organic compounds and hydrocarbons.
- Functional groups of organic compounds: alcohols, thiols, ethers, thioethers, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, anhydrides, amines, and amides.
- Isomerism: cis/trans isomers and enantiomers.

General Biochemistry
- Biological macromolecules.
- Proteins: structure and function. Oxygen-binding proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin.
- Enzymes.
- Principles of bioenergetics. ATP and high-energy compounds. ATP synthesis mechanisms: substrate-level phosphorylation, oxidative phosphorylation
- General aspects of metabolism: anabolism and catabolism.
- Carbohydrate metabolism.
- Lipid metabolism.
- Protein metabolism.
Prerequisites for admission
No previous knowledge required.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons in the lecture hall.
Teaching Resources
Reading list
Bonaldo, Duga, Pierantoni, Riva, Romanelli. Biologia e Genetica. EDISES IV edizione

Bellini T. Chimica medica e propedeutica biochimica. Zanichelli
Anastasia M., Anastasia L. Chimica di base per le scienze della vita. Antonio Delfino Editore

General Biochemistry:
Di Giulio A., Fiorilli A., Stefanelli C. Biochimica per le Scienze Motorie. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana
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
Professors: Aureli Massimo, Papini Nadia, Riva Paola Vanda, Rusconi Francesco Sebastiano
By appointment
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Mediche e Medicina Traslazionale via Fratelli Cervi 93 Segrate (MI)