Bachelor's degree in Cardiocirculatory Physiopathology and Cardiovascular Perfusion Techniques (national qualification)

Biological and biochemical sciences (2015/2016)

Course code
Elisabetta Trabetti

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
BIOCHIMICA 2 BIO/10-BIOCHEMISTRY lez 1 anno 1 semestre PERF Elio Maria Liboi
BIOLOGIA APPLICATA 2 BIO/13-EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY lez 1 anno 1 semestre PERF Elisabetta Trabetti

Learning outcomes

The course purposes are:
• To give basic knowledge about living organism characteristic: procariots, eucariots, viruses, through the acquisition of the fundamental concepts of biology and of the structural, functional and molecular principles of cellular processes.
• To provide the basic knowledge on the fundamental concepts of genetics and transmission of hereditary characters.

To transmit the main chemical principles to allow comprehension of the mechanisms that control matter interaction. To explain macromolecules organization and the principle of metabolism to understand factors that regulate the main metabolic pathways. Emphasis will be on physiological and pathological processes associated to the main biochemical functions.


• 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.

Biochemistry programme


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.


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.

general principles, regulations, hormones, vitamins.
Sugar metabolism: glycolysis, regulations, alcohol fermentation, lactic fermentation. Pentose cycle.
Citric acid cycle: oxidative phosphorylation, ATP synthase
Fatty acid metabolism: fatty acid digestion, beta oxidation, ketone bodies.
Fatty acid synthesis
Protein metabolism: transamination. Urea cycle.
Protein biosynthesis.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test: multiple choice questions and open-enden questions.

Multiple choice.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
A. Fiecchi, M. Galli Kienle, A. Scala Chimica e propedeutica biochimica Edi-Ermes  
Solomon, Berg, Martin Elementi di Biologia (Edizione 6) EdiSES 2013
Sadava et al. Elementi di Biologia e genetica Bologna, Zanichelli 2014

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