cod. 1004016

Academic year 2013/14
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Biochimica (BIO/10)
Discipline biologiche
Type of training activity
70 hours
of face-to-face activities
10 credits
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

The course will provide students with fundamental notions regarding cells, genetics, evolution of living organisms, structure and function of plants and animals, metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and aminoacids, energy extraction from nutrients.

The course aims at providing students with the tools needed to analyze the biological and biochemical processes underlying the preparation of foods from animal and plant sources and the absorption and utilization of food nutrients.


To deal with the topics of the “Biology and Biochemistry” course, students should possess a basic knowledge of Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Course unit content

Introduction to the course. The study of life. Water. Biological macromolecules: proteins, lipids, sugars and nucleic acids. The prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell. Plant and animal cells. Cell membranes and transport across the membrane. Cell-cell communication. Cell cycle, mitosis and meiosis. Elements of genetics. From Mendel to molecular genetics. Population genetics. Recombinant DNA, biotechnology and genetic improvement. Evolution. Mechanisms of evolution of living organisms. Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. The species and their origins. Systematic. Elements of taxonomy and biological classification. The biological concept of species. Taxonomic categories in plants and animals. The main plant tissues and organs. The main animal tissues and organs.

Protein structure; folding and unfolding of proteins. Antibodies: structure and function. Structural proteins: collagen. Enzymes: overview of the mechanism of action of enzymes and enzyme kinetics. Lipids with energy reserve function. Overview of Bioenergetics. “High energy” compounds. Glycolysis. Pentose phosphate pathway. Alcoholic and lactic acid fermentation. Glycogenolysis and glycogenosynthesis. Krebs cycle. Gluconeogenesis. Overview of lipid metabolism. Fatty acid beta-oxydation. Ketonic bodies and ketogenesis. Synthesis of saturated fatty acids. Overview of amino acid metabolism. Degradation of amino acids. Correlation of amino acid metabolism with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation. DNA and gene information. DNA replication and transcription. Ribosomal, transport and messenger RNA (r-RNA, t-RNA, m-RNA). The genetic code. Protein synthesis: translation.

Full programme

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Biologia. Russell, Wolfe, Hertz, Starr e McMillan, Edises Editore.

Elementi di Biologia e Genetica. Sadava, Heller, Heller, Orians, Purves e Hillis, Zanichelli Editore.

Introduzione alla Biochimica di Lehninger. Nelson e Cox, Zanichelli Editore.

Teaching methods

Oral lessons, with the use of multimedia means.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written and oral exams.

Other information

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