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

Biomolecular fondamentals of life (2019/2020)

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 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.


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, 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
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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