General and cellular biology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
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.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
The educational activity of the course will be provided as frontal teaching and distance teaching (in synchronous modality). The presence in the classroom will be possible in shifts in compliance with anti-covid regulations.
The methods and criteria for participating in the lessons in attendance, which require a reservation with a special app, will be published on the Ariel pages of the teaching and/or by the teaching secretary of the course.
In case of a new suspension of frontal lessons, all students will be asked to switch to synchronous distance learning. Each hour of the lesson will be divided into 45" formal teaching followed by 15" discussion / interaction / question time.
All lectures will be recorded and available to students on dedicated platforms (e.g. Ariel, TEAMS, etc.).
The lab sessions, while respecting the reported program, will be administrated remotely and the useful material will be available, also as registration provided by the teacher, on the dedicated platforms made available by the University.
Any notice regarding updates or also related to the evolution of the regulations imposed by Covid-19 will be published on the degree course Ariel website and on Ariel website of the individual courses as well as communicated by the teaching secretariat.

The program and reference material will not be changed. The latter will be made available on dedicated platforms (e.g. Ariel, TEAMS, etc.)

Unless otherwise specified, the exams will be organized in the classroom and according to the reported learning methods. If the student will not be able to reach the exam center due to problems with COVID, other modalities may be considered (this applies only to exams scheduled until 31 December - 2020)
Course syllabus
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
Teaching methods
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
Teaching Resources
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.
Assessment 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.
BIO/13 - EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY - University credits: 7
Practicals: 8 hours
Lessons: 52 hours
Professor: Battaglioli Elena
Educational website(s)
Appointment upon request
Dept. Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine, Via F.lli Cervi 93, 20090 Segrate