Bachelor's degree in Speech and Language Therapy (to qualify as a speech and language therapist)

Biological and biochemical sciences (2020/2021)

Course code
Elisabetta Trabetti

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
BIOCHIMICA 2 BIO/10-BIOCHEMISTRY LOGO 1^ anno - 1^semestre Ilaria Dando
BIOLOGIA APPLICATA 2 BIO/13-EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY LOGO 1^ anno - 1^semestre Elisabetta Trabetti
GENETICA MEDICA 2 MED/03-MEDICAL GENETICS LOGO 1^ anno - 1^semestre Alberto Turco


- Building blocks of general and organic chemistry: the carbon atom; electronic configuration; organic compounds nomenclature and functional groups. - Protein structure and function: structure and physico-chemical properties of amino acids; peptide bond; protein structure levels; fibrous proteins; globular proteins; hemoglobin and myoglobin; actin; myosin. - Enzymes: classification; activation energy; coenzymes and cofactors; water-soluble vitamins; regulation of enzymatic activity. - Nucleic acids: basic notions of their structural functions; their role as energy carriers, as components of enzymatic cofactors, and as chemical messengers. - Introduction to metabolism: anabolism and catabolism; ATP; redox coenzymes (NAD and FAD); chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier principle; equilibrium constant; Gibbs free energy; exo- and endo-ergonic reactions; equilibria and spontaneity of reactions; metabolic pathways; metabolic intermediates; metabolism regulation. - Carbohydrates: monosaccharides; disaccharides; polysaccharides; glycogen; starch; cellulose; glycosaminoglycans; proteoglycans and glycoproteins. - Carbohydrate metabolism: glycolysis and its regulation; alcoholic fermentation; lactic fermentation; phosphate pentose pathway; gluconeogenesis; glycogenosynthesis; glycogenolysis; hormonal regulation (glucagon, insulin and adrenaline); Cori cycle. - Citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation: regulation of the citric acid cycle; electron transport chain; oxidative phosphorylation. - Lipids: reserve lipids; structural membrane lipids; cholesterol; lipids as signals and cofactors. - Lipid metabolism: lipid biosynthesis; fatty-acid synthase; cholesterol metabolism; beta-oxidation of fatty acids; cheotnic bodies. - Amino acid metabolism: metabolic fate of amino groups; urea cycle; glucose-alanine cycle; transamination. The teaching method used in this teaching is exclusively of the frontal type.
• Characteristics of the living beings • Chemistry of living organisms and biological molecules • prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell: organization of the cell; internal membranes and compartmentalization; organelles, characteristics and functions: nucleus, ribosomes, RER, REL, Golgi, lysosomes, peroxisomes, cytoskeleton, cell wall, extracellular matrix. Animal and plant cells. Mitochondria and plastids (chloroplasts, amyloplasts, chromoplasts) and endosymbiont theory. • Biological membranes: structure and proposed models; passage of materials across cell membranes: passive transport (facilitated diffusion and simple), osmosis, directly and indirectly active transport, co-transport. Exocytosis and endocytosis. Anchoring, tight and gap cell junctions in animal and plant cells. • Cell communication: types of cellular communication: endocrine, paracrine, autocrine and iuxtacrine. Sending and receiving the signal. • Organization of DNA in chromosomes, mitosis and meiosis. DNA and proteins, nucleosomes, heterochromatin, euchromatin, chromosome condensation. The cell cycle and its regulation. Mitosis, meiosis and sexual reproduction • DNA and its role in heredity. DNA structure and replication. • Gene expression: transcription, genetic code and translation. Gene definition. • DNA mutations and mutagenesis • Hereditary character transmission and Mendel’s laws; definition of phenotype, genotype, locus, gene, dominant and recessive allele, homozygosity and heterozygosity. Segregation and independent assortment. Independence and association. Crossing-over and recombination. Genetic determination of sex. Gene interactions. Incomplete dominance, condominance, multiple alleles, epistasis and polygeny. • The human genome: karyotype analysis and pedigrees; autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, X-linked diseases. DIDACTIC METHOD Attendance to lessons is mandatory. Teaching methods consist of frontal lessons. In addition to the suggested texts, additional didactic supports are offered on the e-learning platform of the course. Students can make an appointment directly with the teacher every time they need it throughout the academic year, by email.
Programme Human genetics and epigenetics. Pedigrees. Mendelian inheritance of human traits. Genetics of hearing loss. Non traditional (non mendelian) inheritance.Genetic Imprinting, Uniparental disomy. Triplet expansion disease

Assessment methods and criteria

Goal of the exam for the Course of Biological and biochemical sciences: to verify students' advanced comprehension of the whole program topics and their capability to expose their reasoning in a critical and precise manner using appropriate scientific terms.
6 examination appeals are foreseen in the whole Academic Year: 2 in the Winter Session after the Course ending, 2 in the Summer Session, and 2 in the Autumn session.
Students can sit an exam if they have attended at least 75% of the frontal teaching activity of the entire teaching. They will undertake three modules (written tests made of multiple choice quizzes and open questions); further information about exam organization is available in each module form. The final mark (/out of 30) will derive from the evaluation of the three modules. Students will pass the examination if the overall rating of all modules, based on the weighted average of credits, is greater than or equal to 18/30. Students can retire or refuse the proposed mark.

Students, who do not pass all the three exam modules in the same session, will only have to cover the missing/insufficient part in one of the subsequent sessions, if only within the extra winter session of the next Academic Year. From the next summer session, students will need to take all the three modules.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Catani et all Appunti di biochimica (Edizione 2) piccin 2017 978-88-299-2843-9
Stefani M, Taddei N Chimica Biochimica e Biologia Applicata. Zanichelli ed., Bologna 2010
M. Samaja, R. Paroni Chimica e Biochimica Piccin 2016
Solomon, Martin, Martin, Berg Elementi di Biologia (Edizione 7) EdiSES 2017 978-88-7959-938-2
Raven, Johnson, Mason, Losos, Singer Elementi di biologia e genetica (Edizione 2) Piccin 2019
Sadava, Hillis, Craig Heller, Hacker Elementi di Biologia e Genetica (Edizione 5) Zanichelli 2019
David L Nelson, Michael M Cox Introduzione alla Biochimica del Lehninger Zanichelli 2018

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