cod. 08695

Academic year 2015/16
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Biochimica (BIO/10)
"struttura, funzione e metabolismo delle molecole d'interesse biologico"
Type of training activity
49 hours
of face-to-face activities
7 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

The course of Chemistry and Introductory Biochemistry aims to enable the student to know and understand the correlation between the electronic structure of the atom and molecules, both inorganic and organic, and their chemical properties. Particular attention is devoted to macromolecules of biological interest. The student will understand:
1) the structure of the molecules
1) how the molecules react and the fundamental role of water in defining their reactivity.
2) the functions performed by the molecules that make up the cell, seen as basic unit of living matter,

The student will acquire the knowledge and understanding that allow him to connect the chemical nomenclature to the corresponding formula and to describe the biological macromolecules and their functional role in the cell. He must recognize the functional groups responsible for the reactivity of the molecules. He must acquire an overview of the mechanisms that govern the transformations of the molecules and their connection with the production and consumption of energy. He must learn the connections between chemistry and biology.
As far as the ability to apply the knowledge and understanding gained, the student will have to be able to apply them in the conduct of training activities.


The prerequisites consist of chemical knowledge needed to pass the entrance test to Study in Medicine and Surgery.

Course unit content

The first part of the course will serve to: a) assess the level of knowledge of the prerequisites concepts; b) give a general overview of the topics that will be covered and the logical thread in which will be presented.
In the second part we will discuss topics that relate to understanding the origin of the three-dimensional structure and reactivity of molecules.
The third part will deal with the structural and chemical properties of major macromolecules present in a cell and then discuss some of the main metabolic processes responsible for the production of energy needed to keep the cell alive.

Full programme

The atomic structure: nucleus and electrons:. Electronic configuration: electronegativity. Covalent bond types on the basis of electronegativity of the atoms involved. Molecules: reactivity and molecular chemical bonding. Spatial distribution of electrons and shape of molecules.
Acidic and basic oxides. Acid/basic compounds theories. Salts. Fundamentals of chemical kinetics, meaning of activation energy. Chemical equilibrium: acidic and basic solutions. Fundamentals of thermochemistry and thermodynamics. Chemical reactions and energy exchanges. Electrochemistry.
1) Organic Chemistry: structure and chemical bond in organic molecules. Reactions types: addition, elimination, substitution. Reactions mechanisms: radicalic and polar. Reagents types: nucleophiles, electrophiles and radicals. Functional groups: nomenclature, physical properties and chemical reactivity of biological interest: aliphatic, olefinic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Functional groups: alcohols, phenols, thiols, carbonylic compounds: aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives. Amines.
2) Chemistry of the biological systems molecules: Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Lipids: fatty acids, lipids, complex lipids and steroids. Proteins: aminoacids and peptide bond. Peptides. Nucleic Acids: purines, pirimidines, nucleotides and nucleosides, the phosphodiesteric bond. DNA and RNA structures and function.


General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Introductory Biochemistry
K.J. Denniston, J.J.Topping and R.L. Caret
Italian Edition
McGraw-Hill 2011

Organic Chemistry
H. Hart, L.E. Craine, D.J. Hart, C.M. Hadad
6th Edition Zanichelli

Introduction to General, Organic and Biochemistry
F. A. Bettelheim, W.H. Brown, M.K. Campbell., S.O. Farrell
9th Engl. Ed.

Teaching methods

The course will be conducted on the basis of lectures during which after having exposed some general concepts will go on to describe their first applications in chemical systems model and then as part of the life processes of a cell.
The classes will be divided into three parts. A brief introduction to resume the arguments put forward in the previous lesson (10 '), a space for questions about the arguments (10') and 30 'to present new arguments.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of the achievement of the objectives set by the Course includes a written test followed, if passed (18/30), by an oral test.
The oral examination consists of questions: a) regarding any errors in the written test, b) subject of the course not mentioned in the written test.
Overall, the verification pays particular attention to whether the student has achieved the aim of acquiring a good knowledge and understanding of the whole chemical principles that underlie life processes.

As required by law and University Teaching Regulations, it is not possible to carry out the examination in parts and to acquire credits to one or more parts of the program.
Board of Examiners: Spisni Alberto Franzoni Lorella, Casali Emanuela
Substitute: Pertinhez Thelma, Troglio Maria Giovanna, Elena Ferrari

Other information

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