Bachelor's degree in Nursing (to qualify as a nurse) (Legnago)

Biomolecular fondamentals of life (2018/2019)

Course code
Maria Romanelli

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
BIOCHIMICA 2 BIO/10-BIOCHEMISTRY INF LE - 1° anno 1° sem Sofia Giovanna Mariotto

Learning outcomes

The course aims to develop knowledge of biology, biochemistry and genetics related to physiological and pathological processes in order to understand how health and disease changes in individuals at different stages of life. This knowledge will allow nursing students to understand which kind of cellular processes are common to all living organisms and in particular the basic mechanisms in the regulation of metabolic activity, reproduction and cellular interactions. Moreover the course will focus on the basic concepts of genetics, the most common genetic diseases, and their transmission rules.


-Constitutive elements of the living matter: polymeric structure of the biological macromolecules Organic chemistry notions: carbon atom properties; hybrid orbitals; organic compounds classification: functional groups; hydrocarbons; alcohols, ethers, thiols, amines, aldehydes and ketones; carboxylic acids, esters, anhydrides. - Structure and function of proteins: amino acids; peptide bond; structural levels of proteins; fibrous proteins and globular proteins; hemoglobin and myoglobin; hemoglobin variants; classification, function and regulation of enzymes. - Bioenergetics: metabolism, chemical transformations in the cell; thermodynamics; ATP as energy exchanger; oxidation/reductions. - Structure and metabolism of carbohydrates; mono- and disaccharides; polysaccharides; glycolysis and its regulation; gluconeogenesis; penthose phosphate pathway; structure, function and metabolism of glycogen. - AcetylCoA. Citric acid cycle; electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation; ATP synthesis. - Structure and metabolism of lipids: structural lipids and biological membranes; lipids transport; lipids digestion and fatty acids beta-oxidation; hints on fatty acids biosynthesis - Amino acid metabolism; transamination and oxidative deamination; urea cycle; metabolism of the carbon chain. The frontal teaching is the exclusive method adopted in this course.
Synthetic program General characteristics of living organisms. - Life macromolecules: DNA, RNA, proteins. - Cell structure and function: general characteristics, separation of subcellular components. Plasma membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus. - The molecular basis of hereditary information. DNA characteristics, Watson and Crick model. DNA replication. - Gene expression. Genetic code, transcription, translation. Gene expression regulation. - Genetics. Composition of the genome. - Mutations: types and effects. Spontaneous mutations. Mutagenesis by chemical and physical agents. - Genome Organization. - Chromatin: composition and structure. - Chromosomes: structural patterns, karyotype, anomalies. - The cell cycle. Mitosis - Sexual and meiosis reproduction. Gametogenesis. Meiotic Errors: Aneuploids. The gene dosage and inactivation of the X chromosome, the determination of sex in the embryo. - Genetics. Transmission of hereditary characters, Mendel's laws. Genotype and phenotype, autosomal and sex-related inheritance. Interpretation and discussion of genealogical trees. Genetics of blood groups. Methods of transmission of genetic diseases in humans, calculation of risks. Molecular Diagnosis.

Assessment methods and criteria

To pass the Biochemistry module test the students must demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the basic concepts of biochemistry, from biological macromolecules to metabolic transformations. Furthermore, they must show the capability to expose their reasoning in a critical and precise manner and using an appropriate scientific language. The exam consists of a written test, structured as follows: - 16 multiple choice questions. - 2 open questions, to be briefly answered in a limited space The final score will be expressed in thirty's (/30). The examination will be validated with a minimum score of 18/30.
The assessment of learning outcomes envisages a written test to ensure knowledge of the topics under consideration. The written test potentially covers all the topics listed in the program. It is articulated in groups of question related to the main themes of the course (life macromolecules, cell biology, cell interactions, genetic information flow, mendelian inheritance, human genetics). Items are formulated as multiple answer questions and open answer questions. The answer to each item requires knowledge of biological terminology, ability to interpret genealogy trees, ability to systematically connect knowledge of biology and genetic molecules, ability to describe and exemplify biological structures. The examination will be validated with a minimum score of 18/30. The overall evaluation of the answers to the questions is expressed in thirty/30. To help the student to understand the contents and the formulation of the items, the examination tests submitted in the previous year will be discussed in the classroom with the students.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Capbell et al. Biologia e genetica Pearson 2015
Solomon et al. Elementi di Biologia EdiSES 2017
Sadava et al. Elementi di Biologia e genetica Bologna, Zanichelli 2014
Bertoldi, Colombo, Magni, Marin, Palestini Chimica e Biochimica EdiSES 2015 978-88-7959-878-1
David L Nelson, Michael M Cox Introduzione alla Biochimica del Lehninger Zanichelli 2018
P.C. CHAMPE, R.A. HAEVEY, D.R. FERRIER Le basi della biochimica Zanichelli 2015

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