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

Biomolecular fondamentals of life [Matricole dispari] (2019/2020)

Course code
Maria Romanelli

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
BIOCHIMICA 2 BIO/10-BIOCHEMISTRY INF VR - 1° anno 1° sem Massimo Donadelli

Learning outcomes

The course provides knowledge of biology, biochemistry and genetics necessary for understanding the physiological and pathological processes related to health and disease of individuals in different stages of life. Biological and biochemical knowledge will contribute to the acquisition of skills that improve people's health and nursing care. At the end of the course students will possess basic knowledge of organic chemistry and biochemistry, the structure-function relationships of the main classes of biological macromolecules, their metabolic regulation and the energy transformations of biochemical processes; knowledge of cellular and genetic biology related to structural, functional and molecular characteristics of the cell; understanding of the applications of genomic knowledge to medicine. This knowledge will enable students to understand cellular processes common to all living organisms, the basic mechanisms that regulate metabolic activity, reproduction and cellular interactions and transmission of genetic diseases in humans. BIOCHEMISTRY: the Course provides: -Basic knowledge of organic chemistry preparatory for biochemistry. -Knowledge related to the structure-function relationships of the most important biological macromolecules and to their metabolic regulation. -Knowledge about the relation between the different biochemical processes and the regulation of the energy level associated to them. At the end of the course the student will acquired the proper scientific terms and notions in order to critically and autonomously evaluate the biochemical processes of life. APPLYED BIOLOGY: The course provides the cognitive basis for understanding the contribution of biological macromolecules in biological organization, in the functioning of the structures of living organisms and in the most relevant aspects of human biology. The course also aims to introduce the fundamental concepts of Genetics, the most common genetic diseases and their transmission modes. At the end of the course the student will be able to know and understand the fundamentals of biology also in relation to the health status of human population.


- Organic chemistry: nomenclature of organic compounds and recognition of functional groups. - Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides, glycogen, starch, cellulose, glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans and glycoproteins. - Proteins: amino acids, protein structure levels, peptide bond, alpha-helix, beta-sheet, globular protein, myoglobin and hemoglobin, allosteric regulation. - Enzymes: Classification of enzymes, active site, specificity and isoenzymes, cofactors and coenzymes, vitamins, regulation of enzyme activity, allosteric enzymes. - Lipids: lipids and their functions, acylglycerols fatty acids, phospholipids, terpenes, steroids, cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins, eicosanoids, lipoproteins. - Introduction to metabolism: catabolism and anabolism, ATP and phosphocreatine, coenzymes redox (NAD+ and FAD), redox reactions, metabolic pathways, metabolic intermediates, regulating metabolism, coupled reactions, signs of genetic defects of metabolism. - Carbohydrate metabolism: glycolysis and its regulation, pentose phosphate pathway, alcoholic and lactic fermentation, synthesis of acetyl-coenzyme A, oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate, Krebs cycle and its regulation, gluconeogenesis and its regulation, Cori cycle, glycogenolysis and glycogen synthesis, hormone regulation (glucagon, insulin and adrenaline), diabetes mellitus. - Oxidative phosphorylation: mitochondrial respiratory chain, standard reduction potential, electron transport and proton pumps, mitochondrial ATP synthase. - Lipid metabolism: beta-oxidation of fatty acids, ketones, lipid biosynthesis, acid synthase-fat, cholesterol metabolism. - Metabolism of proteins and amino acids: transamination, glucose-alanine cycle, urea cycle, biosynthesis of amino acids, branched chain amino acids. The frontal teaching is the method adopted in this Course.
Synthetic program: Main characteristics of living organisms, cell structures of prokaryotes and eukaryotes; the structure of viral particles; cell cycle and its regulation; reproduction and development; molecular mechanisms of hereditary transmission of genetic information; the chromosomal basis of heredity, the human genome, Mendelian genetics, pedigrees, the gene mutations. 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 overcome the module of Biochemistry, students must demonstrate that they have understood the basic concepts of biochemistry, biological macromolecules and metabolic transformations. The exam consists of a written test with 15 multiple choice questions and 3 open questions, to be briefly answered in a limited space, covering the didactic content throughout the course. The final score will be expressed in thirty's (/30) and the module of Biochemistry will be passed if the overall assessment of the integrated course is greater than or equal to 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 of the following year.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, Jackson Campbell - Biologia e Genetica (Edizione 1) Pearson 2015
Solomon et al. Elementi di Biologia EdiSES 2017
Sadava, Hillis, Craig Heller, Hacker Elementi di Biologia e Genetica (Edizione 5) Zanichelli 2019
Bonaldo et al. Elementi di Biologia e Genetica EdiSES 2019 978-88-3319-038-9
M. Samaja, R. Paroni Chimica e Biochimica Piccin 2016
Capbell et al. Biologia e genetica Pearson 2015

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