64841 - Biochemistry

Course Unit Page

SDGs

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

Quality education Climate Action Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at the comprehension of the main biological process at a molecular level: structures, properties and function of biomolecules, molecular mechanism, route and law of bio- transformations, the base of microbiological physiology and genetics, enzymatic catalysis and fermentation. The course is also aimed at the comprehension and application of the knowledge and acquired skills in the biochemical interaction among organisms and environment.

Course contents

Biochemistry is a module of BIOCHEMISTRY AND ECOLOGY teaching. This module consists of two Parts:

Part 1: Biochemistry

1. Macromolecules

Amino Acids, Carbohydrates, Lipids

2. Protein structure

Primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary

3. Plant biochemistry

Photosynthesis: light reactions, carbon fixation, synthesis of sugars, bacterial photosynthesis.

4. Catabolism of sugars.

Glycolysis, Krebs cycle, respiration, chemiosmosis.

5. Enzyme catalysis

Substrate specificity

Catalytic mechanisms

Enzyme kinetics

Competitive and non-competitive inhibition, mixed inhibition

 

Part 2: Biochemical Methodologies

This part consists of experimental laboratory course.

The experimental laboratory course will introduce the students to the basic approaches for the determination of proteins amount, separation and identification. During the practical laboratory, the following experimental activities are foreseen:

1) Determination of protein content by using a colorimetric assay;

2) Separation of a mixture of known proteins by using a chromatographic analysis;

3) Identification of purified proteins using spectrophotometric and electrophoretic techniques.

Readings/Bibliography

Part 1 advised readings. Any basic biochemical textbook among the following in the list:

“Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry” by Nelson and Cox

“Biochemistry” by Stryer

"Fundamentals of Biochemistry” by Voet and Voet

Part 2 advised readings. "Biochemistry Laboratory: modern theory and techniques" by Rodney Boyer.

 

Part 1 and 2

Educational support necessary: Lectures slides will be available to students as PDF or Power Point files and will be available to the students on Virtuale platform.

Teaching methods

Part 1: the teaching method used is based on lectures during which the contents of the program will be illustrated using PowerPoint slides. Attendance to such lessons is not mandatory but it is highly recommended as the contents of the program will be presented and explained by the teacher and discussed with the whole class. This teaching method will facilitate the learning of contents and will allow the achievement of the knowledge and skills by the whole class. Students are encouraged to communicate to the teacher any requirements by e-mail as soon as possible. This will allow teacher to evaluate which teaching support tools are most adequate to make the training course accessible to all students of the course.

Part 2: the practical experience in laboratory will be carried out by using several laboratory equipment. This will be followed by a working group to discuss the obtained data. Students are encouraged to communicate to the teacher any requirements by e-mail as soon as possible. This will allow teacher to evaluate which teaching support tools are most adequate to make the training course accessible to all students of the course.

Assessment methods

Part 1: the learning test assessment will consist of an interview that provides  questions related to the topics covered in the program in order to verify and evaluate the student's knowledge of the contents developed and discussed during the lessons. Moreover, during the interview the student's ability to link and integrate the various topics with particular attention to the scientific terminology used and to correct and accurate exposure will be evaluated.

Part 2: the assessment method will consist in processing of obtained data and writing a report of the laboratory activities carried out to verify the student's ability to interpret the data collected during the practical experience.

In order to obtain a final grade of 30/30 with honors, the student must show that he/she knows and has deepened, using the textbooks and bibliography indicated by the teacher, all the topics covered during the lessons. Further, they must explain and integrate the topics with scientific language properties.  The final grade will be scaled from 30/30 to 18/30 based on the number of questions to which the student answers and her/his ability to integrate the topics with scientific properties language. In particular, to obtain a grade of 18/30 the student must show to have superficial knowledge of all the contents discussed during the lessons and not be able to integrate them with scientific language properties.

The vote obtained will be considered valid within the calendar year and will contribute to the final mark, determined as the weighted average of the Biochemistry and Ecology teaching.

The teacher responsible for teaching Biochemistry will communicate the final grade to the student via e-mail and will record it after receiving an e-mail in which the student declares acceptance.

Teaching tools

Part 1 and Part 2:

Students are encouraged to communicate to the teacher any requirements by e-mail as soon as possible. This will allow teacher to evaluate which teaching support tools are most adequate to make the training course accessible to all students of the course. The contents of the lectures will be presented using PowerPoint slides and discussed with the whole class through appropriate teaching materials. The practical laboratory experience and the use of several laboratory equipment will be carried out using appropriate teaching tools in order to make the training accessible to all students of the course.

The lessons will be available through a link to the online teaching site Virtuale.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Francia