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

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 VI - 1° anno 1° sem Elio Maria Liboi

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.


Chemistry The matter: atoms, molecules. Atomic organization: atomic orbitals, energy levels Periodic table of the elements Chemical bound: covalent, ionic. Week interactions: hydrogen bond, van der Waals, hydrophobic interaction. Molecules: water. Properties and interactions in water. Solutions: definitions and concentrations (Molarity), osmosis. Buffer, pH. Chemical reactions: red/ox. Thermodynamic: Free energy (G), energetic potential of ATP, coupled reactions. Biochemistry Proteins: amino acids, peptide bound. Protein structures. Post translational modifications. Quality control for secreted proteins. Enzymes: kinetic, mechanism of action. Enzymatic inhibition. Allosteric regulation. Nucleic acids: nucleotides, DNA, RNA Sugars: simple and complex sugars. sugar bond, polysaccharides (starch and glycogen). Glycoproteins: blood groups. Membranes: properties, phospholipids, double layer. Lipids: fatty acids, cholesterol. Metabolism. general principles, regulations, hormones, vitamins. Sugar metabolism: glycolysis, regulations, alcohol fermentation, lactic fermentation. Pentose cycle. Citric acid cycle: oxidative phosphorylation, ATP synthase Gluconeogenesis. Fatty acid metabolism: fatty acid digestion, beta oxidation, ketone bodies. Fatty acid synthesis Protein metabolism: transamination. Urea cycle. Protein biosynthesis.
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. The 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

Assessment for learning will be through a written multiple choice. 20 questions in each test. Test is formulated by an automated system by the "Centro docimologico di Ateneo". Basically, questions are randomly chosen from a database made by the teacher. Questions are randomly mixed in each test. A question and an answer sheet are nominated for each student. Answer sheet are automatically read by the system and results are sent to the teacher.
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
Campbell 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
Terry A. Brown conoscere la biochimica (Edizione 1) Zanichelli ed., Bologna 2018
David L Nelson, Michael Cox introduzione alla biochimica di Lehninger (Edizione 4) Zanichelli ed., Bologna 2011

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