cod. 1008470

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Biochimica (BIO/10)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
40 hours
of face-to-face activities
5 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: Ecology, Biodiversity and Biochemistry

Learning objectives

At the end of the training activity, the student is expected to have acquired the fundamental knowledge of basic biochemistry and demonstrate that he is able to apply it in minimally complex contexts such as the nutrition / fasting cycle. In particular, the student must be able to:
1) describe the function of the main biological macromolecules and the mechanism of action of enzymes (KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING)
2) describe how carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are degraded and synthesized (KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING)
3) apply the knowledge of biochemistry and metabolism to the understanding of the chemical processes involved in the extraction of energy from nutrients (ABILITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING)
4) apply the knowledge of biochemistry and metabolism to the understanding of the processes underlying the obtaining of food from animal and plant sources (ABILITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING)
5) expose in an organic way and with a language that makes use of the appropriate scientific terminology the main metabolic pathways and their integration (COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND LEARNING SKILLS)


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

Course unit content

Biological macromolecules: structure and function. Amino acids and proteins. Examples of proteins with different functions. Glucides. Lipids. Nucleic acids. Metabolism.

Full programme

Amino acids. Protein structure. Protein folding and unfolding. Antibodies: structure and function. Structural, contractile and transport proteins. Enzymes: overview of the mechanism of action of enzymes and enzyme kinetics. Lipids with energy storage function. Overview of bioenergetics. “High energy” compounds. Glycolysis. Pentose phosphate pathway. Alcoholic and lactic acid fermentation. Synthesis and lysis of glycogen. Krebs cycle. Gluconeogenesis. Overview of lipid metabolism. Fatty acid beta-oxidation. 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. The genetic code. Protein synthesis: translation. Overview of GMO.


Nelson e Cox - Introduzione alla Biochimica di Lehninger. Zanichelli Editore
Denise Ferrier - Le Basi della Biochimica, 2a edizione. Zanichelli Editore
Copy of the slides will be available for download on Elly platform.

Teaching methods

The oral lessons will focus on fundamentals of biochemistry with the support of slides (available weekly to the students on Elly website). The main metabolic processes will be discussed with the help of concept maps to help students focus on the relationships among metabolic pathways and their intermediates. A number of lessons will focus on the discussion of case studies and current topics, in order to stimulate the application of biochemistry to food, nutrition, gastronomy and the use of GMO in the agri-food sector.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam for the Biochemistry module includes a written test consisting of two parts: a part with closed answers and a part with open answers. The part with closed answers will consist of 16 multiple choice quizzes, each with a maximum score of 1. The part with open answers will consist of two questions on the topics covered in the course. Each question will give a maximum score of 7. The rating scale is 0-30 cum laude. The laude is given to those who reach 30 as a final score and demonstrate in the open questions part deep knowlegde and understanding of the subject and extreme clarity. During the exam, it will not be possible to use any kind of material (dictionaries, glossaries, manuals, element tables, calculators).
The mark of the written test is communicated within seven days following the test. The mark of the written exam relating to the Biochemistry module will then be mediated with the mark obtained in the exam of the Applied Ecology module to give the final mark recorded during a verbalizing session. The average will be weighted on the basis of the CFU of each course (6 for Applied Ecology and 5 for Biochemistry. The following formula will be applied: final grade = Applied Ecology grade * 6/11 + Biochemistry grade * 5/11). The mark obtained for one module will be valid for 12 months. After 12 months from the successful completion of one module, if in the meanwhile the second module has not been passed, it will be necessary to take the whole exam again.
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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