76166 - Molecular Biology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

Define the mechanisms involved in the replication, repair, transcription and translation of information encoded in nucleic acids. Describe the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression, including epigenetics. Describe the molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination and differentiation.

Course contents

-Analysis of molecular dynamics at the level of cytoskeleton and nucleoskeleton.

- Microtubuli as vibrational entities capable to transmit nanomechanical motions and generate electromagnetic signals.

- The microtubular network as a "bioelectronic circuit" driving cellular connectedness and fate.

- Microtubuli as an atomic water channel: biomolecular implications.

- Methods for assessment of microtubular dynamics, and cellular vibrational patterns: Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM); Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM); Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI).

- Nuclear trafficking of signaling molecules. The nuclear pore complex: translocation of transcription factors and protein kinases.

- Nanomechanics of gene transcription regulation. Transcription factors and epigenetic modulation.

- Molecular motors at cytoplasmic and nuclear level. Interaction with microtubuli, microfilaments, and signaling molecules. Chromatin remodeling.

- Stem cells and Regenerative Medicine. Somatic and stem cell reprogramming. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS). Reprogramming by chemical agents. Reprogramming by physical energies, including electromagnetic fields and nanomechanical vibration. Seeing (stem) cell biology with the eyes of Physics: perspective for a Regenerative Medicine without the needs for cell or tissue transplantation.


All the bibliographic material will be discussed during the lesson and made available to the students.

Teaching methods

- Computer assisted presentations.

- Discussion of experimental findings.

- Seminars, particularly focused on novel approaches in Regenerative Medicine.

Assessment methods

- Discussion at the end of each lesson.

- Questions and highlights.

Office hours

See the website of Carlo Ventura