Bachelor's degree in Environmental and Workplace Accident Prevention Techniques (Trento)

Biomolecular fondamentals of life - BIOLOGIA E GENETICA

Course code
Name of lecturer
Monica Mottes
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
1° SEMESTRE TPALL dal Oct 1, 2020 al Dec 20, 2020.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

To provide an evolutionary view of human biology, focusing on molecular and
cellular processes shared by all living organisms. To illustrate the mutagenic effects of chemical and physical agents. To teach the laws of genetic transmission. Students are expected to be able to understand the
consequences of various changes (e.g. mutations) occurring at the cellular level; they should also be able to recognize the different patterns of inheritance. Examples of specific genetic diseases will be discussed. At the end of the course, students must demonstrate to have gotten acquainted with basic knowledge of cellular functions, cell reproduction, cell-cell interactions, organism-to –organism interactions and organisms-to-environment interactions. In particolar they should be able to recognize environmental chemical and physiscal mutagens. They must also demonstrate to know how genetic traits are transmitted and be able to recognize inheritance patterns of genetic disorders. All these notions are a pre-requisite for further in depth studies , which will be undertaken by the students in subsequent courses.


The historical bases of modern biology. General biology of prokaryotes. The evolution of eukaryotes; characteristics of the e. cell; cell cycle and its regulation, mitosis. The molecular bases of inheritance: DNA (structure, replication, other features). Definition of gene. The informational pathway: transcription (in prokaryotes and eukaryotes); mRNA processing, the regulation of gene expression. Chromatin and chromosomes, normal and pathologic human karyotype. Gene dosage and X chromosome inactivation in mammals. Sex determination in the developing embryo.
Mutations: various types; how , where and when do they happen. Various types of mutagens, mutagenesis tests, DNA repair mechanisms.
Somatic mutations and cancer. Sexual reproduction, meiosis, human gametogenesis. Mendel’s laws of inheritance. Association and recombination. Human genetics, how to construct and interpret a pedigree. Genetics of blood groups (AB0, Rh). Examples of autosomal inheritance (dominant and recessive) and X-linked inheritance. Examples of mendelian diseases in man.
Attendance to lessons is mandatory. Classes will consist of theorical lessons covering the whole exam program. Oral explanations will be coadiuvated by PowerPoint presentations and videos, which will be made available to students through a dedicated Department web site. Additional didactic supports (multiple choice quizzes for self-assessment, journal articles , reviews, etc.) may be suggested during the course and will be made available to students for download. During the whole Academic Year, students may request personal reception to the teachers, by e mail.
- Elementi di biologia (Cellula-Genetica)- H. Helena Curtis, et al., I edizione italiana, 2017 Zanichelli ed. Bologna, ISBN: 9788808773784
- Elementi di biologia e genetica D.Sadava et al., IV edizione italiana, 2014 Zanichelli ed. Bologna, ISBN: 9788808335210

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
P Bonaldo, C Crisafulli, R D'Angelo, et al Elementi di Biologia e Genetica (Edizione 1) EdiSES 2019 9788833190389

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test (18 multiple choice quizzes plus 2 open questions) concerning the entire program. Goals of the written test are: a) to monitor students’ learning process, b) to monitor students’ capacity of personal re-elaboration of notions, c) to monitor students’ ability to apply theoretical notions to experimental queries.
The examination will concern both Biology /Genetics and Biochemistry modules. Final score will derive from partial evaluations in both modules; positive evaluations in both modules are requested. Students can either retire from the examination or refuse the prosed score.

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