cod. 07852

Academic year 2013/14
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Biochimica (BIO/10)
Scienze biomediche
Type of training activity
14 hours
of face-to-face activities
2 credits
hub: -
course unit
in - - -

Integrated course unit module: BIOSCIENCES

Learning objectives

The module has as its formative objective to provide the students a solid knowledge and understanding of the essential principles of Chemistry, the electronic structure of atom, chemical bonding in inorganic/ organic molecules and the macromolecules of biological interest.
The student will be required to know and understand
1) the main elements of chemical reactions
2) the functional role of biomolecules that compose the living matter
3) the essential aspects of cellular metabolic pathways

Results of learning

Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the module the student will be required to :
show knowledge and understanding about the name and corresponding chemical drawing of main classes of compounds with biological relevance;
be able to identify the functional groups of organic molecules responsible of their reactivity. know the general scheme of metabolism, the major metabolic pathways and their connection with energy production and energy consumption.
Understand the connection between chemistry and biology.


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Course unit content

Basics of general and inorganic chemistry.
Organic chemistry : functional groups and their reactivity.
Biomolecules: aminoacids and proteins; carbohydrates; lipids.
Enzymes. Haemoglobin.
Overview of metabolism: catabolism and anabolism.
ATP. Cellular respiration and carbohydrates catabolism.
Brief discussion on tryglicerides and aminoacids degradative metabolism.

Full programme

i) Chemistry prerequisites:

-Elements and compounds. Composition of the atom: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Atomic number and mass number. Isotopes. Ions: cations and anions.

-The periodic table and the electron configuration for elements with biological interest.

-Electronegativity and chemical bonding. Ionic bonding and covalent bonding. Pure covalent bond and polarized covalent bond. Polar molecules. Valence and oxidation number.

-Fundamentals of inorganic chemistry: naming and writing formulas of simple common compounds
(oxides, acids, salts..)

-Aqueous solutions. Concentration units : molarity and percent fraction.

ii) Program:

-Water : chemical and physical properties. Water as a solvent: weak interactions in aqueous solutions. Dipole-dipole intermolecular interactions, hydrogen bonding and Van der Waals bond.
Osmosis. Water ionization. Acids and bases. pH. Buffer solutions and their biological significance.

Organic chemistry

Introduction. Hydrocarbons and functional groups with biological interest. Naming and writing formulas of simple organic compounds. Isomerism.

Types of reactions in biochemistry.

Structure and function of macromolecules:

a)amminoacids as structural units of proteins. Peptidic bond and protein structure. Structure-function relationship: mioglobin and hemoglobin. Enzymes, coenzymes and cofactors.

b) Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.

c) Lipids: fatty acids, tryglicerides and phospholipids.

Introduction to metabolism. Catabolism. Anabolism. General aspects of metabolism regulation.

Energy production and energy storage in the living cell. Some basic principles of bioenergetics. High-energy compounds. ATP.
Cellular respiration and carbohydrates metabolism.
The fatty acid -oxidation.


Chimica e Biochimica¸
M. Samaja - R. Paroni
Piccin Editore

(Files.ppt of frontal lectures).

Teaching methods

During frontal lectures, teacher will illustrate and discuss the different topics/arguments of the program of organic chemistry and biochemistry. The essential concepts of general and inorganic chemistry described in the prerequisites will be resumed.
Students will be invited to participate to supplemental explanations and exercitations by the students themselves.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the module includes a written exam, consisting of multiple choice quizzes and open questions. The examination will concern the whole program and prerequisites.
The knowledge and understanding of the contents by the students will be assessed through questions on the topics of the module.
Through the resolution of a problem about balance of chemical reactions the students ability to apply the acquired knowledge will be assessed.
The final valuation will give more weight to the open questions.

Other information

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