Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CT0533 (AF:335295 AR:176474)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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The teaching falls within the training activities characterizing the three-year degree course in Physical Engineering and and Chemistry and Sustainable Technologies, in particular the basic knowledge of living cells at bio-molecular levels.
The educational objective of the course is to provide basic knowledge relating to:
1) The function of nucleic acids and associated genetic mechanisms;
2) The function of proteins;
3) The organization of the cell

This knowledge is then used to prepare students to develop basic scientific criteria for job applications with particular reference to academia and bio-pharmaceutical companies.
1. Knowledge of:
● Basic terminology of cellular and molecular biology.
● Basic mechanisms that regulate living matter, animal and plant organisms; to know the relationships between the molecular structure and the function of living systems.
● The nature of the genetic material, the mechanisms that control its maintenance; learn about cellular metabolism.

2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
● Basic terminology of cellular and molecular biology and understand the texts in the reference sector. Knowing how to use the terminology correctly in all the processes of application and communication of the acquired knowledge.
● Basic mechanisms that regulate living matter and living animal and plant organisms; know the relationships between the molecular structure and the function of living systems. Know how to predict how the chemical-physical characteristics of molecules affect the biological systems; knowing how to distinguish and motivate the differences between living organisms.
● Knowing the nature of the genetic material, the mechanisms that control its maintenance; knowing the cellular metabolism. Knowing how to discuss simple problems inherent to the structure of the macromolecules that carry the genetic information, make connections between damage and repair mechanisms of genetic materials. Understand the principles behind recombinant DNA technology. Understanding and linking anabolic and catabolic pathways.

3. Judgment skills
● To develop a critical judgment capacity towards innovative results and discoveries in the biological field. Knowing how to formulate and argue simple hypotheses, also developing a critical approach for evaluating alternative hypotheses.

4. Communication skills
● Knowing how to communicate with appropriate terminology in the field of cellular and molecular biology.
● Knowing how to deal with peers and with the tutor, in a critical and respectful way, in the classroom to deepen and develop a scientific culture in this field.

5. Learning skills
● Knowing how to integrate the contents of the slides shared by the teacher with notes and reference texts.
It is advisable to have knowledge of basic organic and inorganic chemistry.
The cell: cell theory, hints of microscopy, differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, cell organelles, model organisms.
Chemical composition of cells: atoms, atomic orbitals, bonds, acidity and basicity, organic molecules, biological macromolecules (sugars, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids).
Energy and catalysis: enthalpy, entropy, redox reactions, free energy, enzymatic catalysis, ATP, activated transporters, biosynthesis of macromolecules.
Proteins: function, amino acids, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure, regulation of protein activity, protein analysis.
Nucleic acids: structure of DNA and RNA, the organization of DNA in the cell, prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome, chromosomes, genes, regulation of the chromosomal structure.
DNA replication, repair and recombination: base coupling, origins of replication, bacterial and eukaryotic DNA polymerases, primases, telomerases; DNA mutation and repair, homologous recombination DNA replication.
Protein transcription and translation: genes, central dogma of molecular biology, classes of RNA, transcription in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, promoters and terminating sequences, general transcription factors, mRNA maturation, introns, exons, splicing, alternative splicing, post-translational modifications, genetic code, protein synthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, ribosomes, ribozymes.
Gene expression control: gene expression, regulatory sequences, operons, enhancers, chromatin modifications, combinatorial control, epigenetics, post-transcriptional controls.
Genome evolution: genetic variation, germline cells, sexual reproduction, point mutations, gene duplication, mobile genetic elements, horizontal gene transfer, selective advantage, conserved DNA sequences, transposons, viruses, human genome analysis.
Recombinant DNA technology: restriction enzymes, electrophoresis, southern blot, hybridization, cloning, plasmids, transformation, genomic libraries, cDNA, PCR, Sanger sequencing, mRNA analysis, ISH, reporter genes, RNA interference, GMO, protein production .
Membranes: the phospholipid bilayer, membrane components, fluidity, membrane proteins, cell cortex.
Transmembrane transport: membrane permeability, active and passive transport, channels, transporters, membrane potential, electrochemical gradient, osmosis, pumps, coupled transporters, neurons, neuronal action potential, synapses, neurotransmitters.
Metabolism: energy sources, catabolism, glycolysis, fermentation, fat oxidation, Krebs cycle, anabolism, oxidative phosphorylation, metabolism regulation, gluconeogenesis, feedback regulation, energy reserves.
ATP production: chemosmotic coupling, mitochondria, respiratory chain, redox potential, proton gradient, ATP synthase, chloroplasts, photosynthesis, dark and light phases, chlorophyll, carbon fixation.
Intracellular compartments and protein transport: organelles, protein transport mechanisms, signal sequences, nuclear pores, vesicular transport, budding, secretion, modifications of proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, endocytosis, phagocytic cells, pinocytosis, lysosomes .
Cell signaling: short and long range signals, fast or slow responses, hormones, extracellular and intracellular receptors, G protein-coupled receptors, cAMP, inositol, enzyme-coupled receptors, tyrosine kinase receptors.
Cytoskeleton: intermediate filaments, microtubules, centrosomes, motor proteins, actin, tubulin, myosin, muscle contraction.
The following reference texts are available in the BAS library on the via Torino campus.
Mandatory Texts:
Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Karen Hopkin, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter - The essentials of molecular biology of the cell - Fourth Edition
Oral examinamtion. The ability in the fromal presentation of the course objectives will be assessed. In particular, the knowledge related to the function of nucleic acids, proteins and the essential mechanisms of living cell will be evaluated. The final grade will be given by the algebraic sum of the grade achieved in each of these three objectives.
The use of books, notes and electronic media is not allowed during the oral exam.
The teaching is organized in:
- lectures where the contents of the course will be exposed through slide projection.
- reciprocal questions between the teacher and the students for the verification of learning and the application of the discussed topics.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 01/09/2022