15950 - Biology and Genetics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Flavia Frabetti (Modulo 1) Lorenza Vitale (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Nursing (cod. 5907)

Course contents


Study of life: biology introduction

The cellular and molecular biology.
Properties of living organisms; relationship between organisms and their ambient.
The Biology Science evolution from cellular theory and microscopy to System Biology.

The eukaryotic cell

Signs of evolution: prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Shape, size and structure of eukaryotic cells; plasma membrane: structure and permeability; the cytoplasm; the nucleus: DNA, chromatin, chromosomes; ribosomes: structure and function, the system of intracellular membranes: structure and function of smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi apparatus, the lysosome, the peroxisome; mitochondria: structure and inheritance.

Cell physiology - Gene expression control

The structure of DNA; the eukaryotic gene; DNA replication; gene expression information: DNA transcription, maturation of primary transcripts, the genetic code, translation, post-translational modifications and final destination of proteins.

Cell physiology - Cell division and cell death

The cell cycle: check points and phases.
The induction of cell division: growth factors. Mitosis.
Apoptosis: role in the organisms's homeostasis.
Different pathways and functions between necrosis and apoptosis.


Reproduction of organisms: meiosis, spermatogenesis, ovogenesis and fertilization.


1) Introduction to genetics

Introduction to Genetics. Concept of gene and genetic information.

2) Hereditary transmission of characters

Mendel's laws. Mode of transmission of monogenic characters: Autosomal dominant inheritance (acondroplasic dwarfism) and autosomal recessive inheritance (albinism). Interactions between alleles: incomplete dominance, co-dominance. Inheritance of the ABO system and Rh system. X-linked recessive inheritance (Example: hemophilia).

3) Mutations
Definition, causes and types of mutations. Gene mutations: types and effects on the gene product. Chromosomal mutations. Genomic mutations (Down Syndrome). Definition and description of the chromosome. Description of the human karyotype: number and types of chromosomes. Karyotype analysis. Chromosome banding.


The book should be of University level and it should take only after the lessons are going to begin.

Solomon E.P., Martin C.E., Martin D.W., Berg L.R. - Elementi di Biologia - Ed. EdiSes, VIII edizione, 2021

or in alternative:

Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven A. Wasserman, Peter V. Minorsky, Rebecca B. Orr - Campbell, Biologia e Genetica -Ed.Pearson, XII edizione, 2021

Bonaldo P. et al., Elementi di Biologia e Genetica - EdiSes, I edizione, 2019

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons, video and discussion of some topics. Moreover knowledge self-assessment will be performed with Exam Manager.

Assessment methods

The student must face a written examination about the three subjects: Biochemistry, Biology and General Genetics and Medical Genetics.

The topics of the exam will be the master argument treated during the lessons and specified in class at the end of the course.

The degree will be the weighted average based on the CFUs of the three evaluations.

Teaching tools

Books, video and digital platform (Virtuale) for teacher's original schemes and notes. A self-assessment will be performed with Exam Manager.

Office hours

See the website of Flavia Frabetti

See the website of Lorenza Vitale


Good health and well-being Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.