Bachelor's degree in Obstetrics (to qualify as an obstetrician)

Biological and physical sciences (2016/2017)

Course code
Cristina Bombieri

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
BIOCHIMICA 3 BIO/10-BIOCHEMISTRY 1°anno 1°semestre CLO Massimo Donadelli
FISICA APPLICATA 1 FIS/07-APPLIED PHYSICS 1°anno 1°semestre CLO Federico Boschi
BIOLOGIA APPLICATA 1 BIO/13-EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY 1°anno 1°semestre CLO Cristina Bombieri
GENETICA MEDICA 1 MED/03-MEDICAL GENETICS 1°anno 1°semestre CLO Alberto Turco

Learning outcomes

The whole course is intended to provide knowledge of basic sciences, as biochemistry, cell biology and genetics and physics, preparatory for further specific courses, with particular regards to concepts subsequently useful for understanding and deepening biomedical and obstetric issues.
By the end of the course students will have acquired:
- knowledge of cell biology relative to the basic mechanisms that regulate cell activities, reproduction, interactions, through the acquisition of the fundamental concepts of functional and molecular principles of cellular processes common to all living organisms;
- basic knowledge of medical genetics in order to be able to distinguish the various types of mendelian inheritance, to understand the transmission mechanisms of human genetic diseases, to estimate the genetic recurrence risks, to understand the ethical, social and medical issues relating to prenatal genetic testing;
- basic knowledge of organic chemistry and biochemistry on the structure-function relationships of the most important biological macromolecules, the metabolic regulation at the molecular level, and the energy level changes associated to different biochemical pathways;
- basic knowledge and understanding of fundamental laws of physics, particularly of mechanics and fluidodynamics, and their application in biomedical phenomena and real situations, as well as the ability to solve simple physics problems also relative to real situations, such as joints and equilibrium of bodies.
This fundamental knowledge is a prerequisite for further specializations that will be object of the following year teachings.
More details are available on the specific forms dedicated to the individual modules that constitute the teaching.


- 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.

Physical quantities, vectors, exercises. Derivative of a function, calculation, examples and exercises. Fermat's theorem and Rolle’s theorem.

Position , displacement , various dimensional motion , rectilinear motion. Average speed and instantaneous speed . Exercises.
Acceleration , rectilinear motion uniformly accelerated . Exercises. Laws of Motion ( I, II , III ) .. inertial mass . Weight force . Exercises.
Work of a force . Kinetic energy. Kinetic energy theorem . Conservative forces . Potential energy.
Gravitational potential energy . Theorem of mechanical energy. Exercises
Power .

Pressure , density , specific gravity , the law of Stevin , hydraulic press , barometer Torricelli tube manometer open , Archimedes' principle . Exercises.
Ideal fluid , stationary bike , motorcycle not turbulent flow . Continuity equation . Venturi . Exercises. Theorem of Torricelli (tank) . Applications . Exercises.
Stokes force . Friction in fluids .

- Characteristics of the living beings. Symbiosis. Autotrophy and heterotrophy.
- Water: characteristics and biological importance.
- Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell: main features and differences. Endosymbiotic theory. Pluricells organisms evolution.
- Cell cycle and its regulation, mitosis, meiosis, cell death. Sexual and asexual reproduction.
- DNA: structure, function, replication. Organisation of DNA in chromosome. DNA and its role in heredity. Definition of gene. Informational pathway: transcription, RNA maturation, genetic code, translation and protein synthesis. DNA mutation.
- Hereditary character transmission and Mendel’s laws. Genetics of blood groups.

Genomics, Genetics, Epigenetics
The human genome. Pedigrees. Mendelian inheritance. Non traditional inheritance.

Standard human karyotype. Anatomy of human chromosomes. Molecular cytogenetics (FISH, aCGH). Numerical and structural chromosome anomalies.

Clinical genetics and bioethics
Genetic counseling. Prenatal diagnosis. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Genetic testing. Stem cells and regenerative medicine. Bioethic and social issues.

See the forms of each single module for details.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of 4 written tests, one for each module, based on all the issues covered throughout the course. Tests can be passed separately as long as they are within the same academic year.
For each academic year, 6 periods are available to take the exams: 2 in the Winter Session at the end of the course, 2 in the Summer Session and 2 in the Autumn Session.
Students who have been admitted to the undergraduate degree with a score lower than 6 points in Biology, 3 points in Chemistry and / or 3 points in Physics and Mathematics, must have first discharged their training debts, before taking the exam.
To pass the exam, students must get a score of not less than 18/30 in each test. The final mark (/out of 30) willl derive from the weighted average over credits of each single test score. Students can retire or refuse the proposed score: in such case, any partial credit will be canceled and the students shall enroll again for the whole examination (all the 4 tests).
See the forms of each single module for more details.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Docente del corso Fisica: dispense del docente  
Catani et all Appunti di biochimica (Edizione 2) piccin 2017 978-88-299-2843-9
Roberti, Antognelli, Bistocchi, Talesa Biochimica e Biologia per le professioni sanitarie (Edizione 2) McGraw-Hill 2013
Solomon, Berg, Martin Elementi di Biologia (Edizione 6) EdiSES 2013
Sadava, Hillis, Craig Heller, Hacker Elementi di Biologia e Genetica (Edizione 5) Zanichelli 2019 9788808820655

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