cod. 1003684

Academic year 2020/21
2° year of course - First semester
Federica Maria Angela RIZZI
Academic discipline
Biologia molecolare (BIO/11)
"struttura, funzione e metabolismo delle molecole d'interesse biologico"
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student should have acquired sufficient knowledge and information to understand, critically discuss and practically apply the molecular basis of the mechanisms of transmission of genetic information.


The student must have basic knowledge of the organic chemistry of the main biological molecules. Basic knowledge of the biology of the eukaryotic cell.

Course unit content

The course aims to provide a basic knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of the transmission of genetic information. After a brief hystorical introduction on the Mendelian lows of genetic inheritance transmission, up to the discovery of DNA as the "transforming principle", the course will introduce the modern knowledge on DNA and RNA chemistry and their structure. Then will be delivered the concepts of DNA replication, RNA transcription and translation: the central mechanisms of the transmission of the genetic information. Then will be delivered the concepts of DNA recombination, mutation repair mechanisms. The last part of the course will describe the main techniques used for DNA manipulation with examples of applications in research, clinical medicine and forensic medicine.

Full programme

From Darwin to Mendel until the discovery of the transforming principle: the basis of genetic information.
The DNA composition and structure.
Organization of DNA in eukaryotic cell: histones, chromatin, chromosomes.
RNA: composition and structure.
Types of RNA
DNA replication: basic mechanisms, enzymes and regulation.
DNA recombination
Damage and DNA mutations and repair mechanisms.
The RNA transcription in eukaryotes: mechanisms, enzymes and regulation.
Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes.
The RNA maturation
Elements of RNA interference.
From RNA to proteins: mechanisms and enzymes of mRNA translation. The genetic code.
Protein synthesis, maturation and post-translational modification.
Protein degradation and protein turnover.
Recombinant DNA and biotechnology:

Polymerase chain reaction, restriction endonucleases, restriction maps and DNA sequencing,
Recombinant DNA, cloning and selection of clones.
Expression vectors and fusion proteins.
Applications of recombinant DNA technology.
Genomics, proteomics and microarrays


Nelson DL, Cox MM: I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli, Bologna.
Biologia molecolare del gene. James D. Watson et al. settima ed. Zanichelli

Teaching methods

The course will be held through lectures to Students either in classroom (“in presenza”) or in synchronous-streaming (“in telepresenza”) on Teams platform. Therefore, the opportunity of Student/Teacher interaction will be preserved both face to face and remotely, by the simultaneous use of the Teams platform. Lessons will be aided by presentations and videos, promoting the molecular approach; web sites and useful references will be suggested.
Lectures will be supported by slide presentations, which will be available to students on Elly platform.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final examination will be oral. In case of the persistence of the health emergency, the exams will be conducted remotely, by means of the Teams platform.
Students with SLD / BSE must first contact Le Eli-che: support for students with disabilities, D.S.A., B.E.S. (

Other information

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