Università degli studi di milano-bicocca

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Facoltà di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali
Corso di Laurea in Biologia, Classe di appartenenza: LM 6
Nome inglese del Corso: BIology
Course denomination and codes
The University of Milano Bicocca (Faculty of Science) offers a second level degree course
in Biology, belonging to the class of Biology (LM6).
The second level degree course in Biology is structured to acquire 120 credits (CFU) in
two years for a total of 11 exams.
Students receive the legal title of “Magistral Doctor in Biology”. The second level degree in
Biology al ows to attend second level masters’ degrees and PhD programs.
Specific objectives and curriculum description
The second level degree in Biology has the objective to prepare professionals for teaching
and research roles in the biological fields or professionals for roles of high responsibility,
project and planning in several industry sectors (pharmaceutical, biotech, and food) and
services related to public health and environment protection.
Objectives of the course are to provide students with: • Deep knowledge of biological disciplines and their more recent developments;• Theoretical and practical knowledge related to the most recent lab techniques; familiarity with statistic tolls and data presentation and the application ofbioinformatics in the biology field; • Familiarity with databases and information management; ability to critically read • Protocol planning and technical issues solving in the research activity • Familiarity with general lab practice and knowledge of at least one specific research The following are the main themes that students can choose to characterize their curricula:1) “Biomolecular” with particular accent on topics like the structure of biological molecules,their codification by genes and modulation mechanisms of gene expression, celdifferentiation and organism development2) “Physiopathological” to deepen the knowledge of the functional aspects of biology, fromthe molecular to the organism level, in relation also to human diseases and drug action3) “Bio-ecological” to integrates bimolecular techniques with more traditional ecologyapproaches to study biodiversity and environment assessment.
The first year is mainly dedicated to the theoretical aspects of biology; the second year hasa very limited number of courses and is manly focused on the preparation of theexperimental thesis.
Professional profiles and employment opportunities
The main employment opportunities are associated with basic research activities (mainly
in the academic world), and R&D activities (mainly in industries).
The acquired competencies are also suited for roles of management and coordination ina) production analysis and control in the biosanitary, pharmaceutical, biotech, zootechnical, agro food and fisheries sectorsb) labs of analysis, certification and biological control, environmental monitoring andnational health care systemc) professional services related to environmental impact and environment preservationd) in al those public and private entities where a classification and management of livingorganisms take place According to ISTAT (National Italian Statistics Institutes) classification, the degree courseprepares for the professions ofBiologistBiochemistBiophisicBotanistZoologistEcologistPharmacologistMicrobiologistBiology researcher and graduate technicianMedicine researcher and graduate technician How to access the course
To be admitted to the second level degree in Biology, students have to have a first level
degree obtained with a three year course, or an equivalent foreign degree. More in detail,
can be admitted students with a 3 year degree from the faculty of Science, Medicine,
Biotechnology, Natural Sciences, Pharmacy and Engineering and other related degrees
that can be proven to provide the necessary competencies to attend the course offered.
To evaluate these competences applicants wil have to undergo an oral evaluation (dates
and times will be posted). The oral evaluation will be based on the fundamental knowledge
of biological systems, from the morphological, genetic, biochemical, molecular, functional
and ecological point of view. Please refer to the website for further
details on content and useful textbooks for test preparation.
Classes offered
First year:
Molecular evolution – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/05
Eucariotic molecular biology – 6 CFU – BIO/11
Biochemical methodologies – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/10
Cell physiology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/09
Among biodiversity and environmental elective classes, students will have to choose 1course of 6 credits from the fol owing classesQuantitative biology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/07Embryology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/06 Among bio molecular elective classes, students will have to choose 1 course of 6 creditsfrom the fol owing classesPlant molecular physiology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/04Molecular microbiology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/19 Among biomedical elective classes, students will have to choose 1 course of 6 credits fromthe following classesChemio terapycal pharmacology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/14Applied immunology – 6 CFU – MED/04 Among integrative elective classes, students wil have to choose 1 course of 12 creditsfrom the fol owing classesVegetable biodiversity– 6 CFU – SSD BIO/01Biogeography – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/05Biocenosis analysis and management – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/07Symbiosis – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/05Computational biology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/10Protein biochemistry – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/10Metabolism pathology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/10Neurosciences – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/09Cardiovascular physiopathology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/09Functional genetics – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/18Molecular genetics – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/18Molecular and cellular oncology – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/13Cell homeostasis in somatic tissues and staminal cells – 6 CFU – SSD BIO/13 Cytogenetics - 6 CFU - SSD BIO/18Human genetics - 6 CFU - SSD BIO/18 Second year:Statistic lab – 6 CFU – SSD MED/01Lab work for the preparation of the thesis – 47 CFUOther activities useful to enter the work environment – 1 CFU Activities chosen by the student - 12 CFU Elective coursesStudents can choose among elective classes (art. 10, comma 5, letter a) offered bysecond level degrees of this University. CreditsOne credit (CFU) equals maximum 25 hours of work (either study of class attending); thenumber of hours depend of the type activity.
Types of activities are: classroom lessons (1 CFU = 8 hrs); laboratory classes (1 CFU = 12hrs); stage (1CFU = 25 hrs); thesis (1 CFU = 25 hrs)All course are taught in Italian; English can be used in seminars or other related activities Profit evaluationFor frontal courses grades are based on a 30 point grading system (i.e. 30 points is highest available grade) Exams can be oral and/or written, according to the teaching rules of the University. Lab courses are graded with an oral discussion (or by means of a writtenreport) at the end of the course and there is no numeric grade, just passed/failedThe written thesis will be discussed in the final exam.
AttendanceCourse attendance is not mandatory, but strongly recommended. Statistic lab course ismandatory; for the other labs students can have a maximum of 25% of hours of absence. Thesis preparation is certified by the responsible docent.
CurriculumThe student’s curriculum is comprised of mandatory, elective classes and additionalactivities chosen by the student according to the rules refined by the course statute.
At the beginning of the first year students receive automatically a standard curriculum.
Afterwards, each student has to present his/her own curriculum indicating the electiveclasses chosen. This curriculum has to be approved by the Faculty. The terms to presentthe individual curriculum are set by the University. Students can take an exam only if this ispart of his/her latest approved curriculum. For everything not specified here, please refer to the general rules for students of thisUniversity Pre-requirements There are no pre-requirements Orientation and tutoringThe student office organizes orientation activities and tutoring for students Semesters and exam sessionsLessons are scheduled during two semesters that generally are as fol ow first semester: November 1st – January 31st second semester: March 1st – June 15th Please refer tofor course and exam schedules Final dissertation
To graduate in Biology it is mandatory to prepare an original experimental thesis, under
the supervision of a professor and on a topic related to the degree course. The
experimental work can be done in an University lab or in other public or private institutes,
national or international. The written report can be done in Italian or English.
The dissertation is a public presentation and discussion (in Italian or English) in front of a
panel of professors.
The final grade of the dissertation will be determined out of a maximum of 110 points. This
final grade is calculated as a weighted average of all exams which are based on a 30
point grading system (i.e. 30 points is the highest available grade).
Credits and transfer procedures
The CCD of Biotechnology, though a specific commission, approves and recognizes the
credits acquired with exams offered by other second level degrees of this or other
Following the laws D.M. 270/2004 and L. 240/2010, Universities can recognize as creditscertified knowledge and professional skills.
Research activities that are complementary to teaching activities and that define the
degree course.
Professors that teach for the Biology degree course are part of the Department of
Biotechnologies and Biosciences and they perform multidisciplinary research in the
following areas:
Dendritic cel of innate and adaptive immunityMicrobiology and fermentation techniquesBioorganic and medical chemistryNeurophysiology and neuroscienceProtein biochemistry and biophysics: functions, interactions and conformationEcology, zoology and botanicNanobiotechnologiesGenetics and molecular biology of the cell differentiation Several national and international projects are carried out in the department. Please refertofor more details.
General information
Where we are:
Piazza della Scienza 2 – Ed. U3
20126 Milano - Italy
Coordinator of the degree: Prof. Paolo Tortora
Other professors to refer to for additional informationAntonella Ronchi (responsible for orientation)Silvia Kirsten Nicolis, Alessandra Polissi, Antonio Zaza Administration officeTel: +39 02.6448.3346 - 3332 - 3327Fax: +39 02.6448.3350e-mail: [email protected].// www.biologia.unimib.it Hydrological cycle, water balance, Biology of Italian water bodies. Fish biology: faunal history, fish population dynamics, food and feeding, and energybudgets. Macroinvertebrate. Practical fisheries, management, and aquaculture. Legislation in Italy.
Protein biochemistry
Protein folding in vivo and molecular chaperones Protein post-translational modificationsProtein sortingClassification of proteases and mechanisms of protein degradation in vivoProteins involved in mechanisms of apoptosisProteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer disease, prion diseases, triplet expansion diseases) Plant biodiversity
The origin and evolution of life. The evolution of plant: from algae to Angiosperms. The three levels of plant biodiversity: genetic, species, and ecosystem. Plant taxonomy and classification. The morphological and molecular approaches for plant characterization. The plant identification keys. The herbaria.
Approaches and tools to phylogenetic analysis. The phylogeny of the main families of vascular plants. Flora and vegetation. The biological forms of Raunkiaer. The plant areal distribution. The corology. Characteristics of Italian flora. The vegetation. Plant community. The dynamics of vegetation. Elements of plant ecology on agro-ecosystems and urban ecosystems. The GM plants and their effect on plant biodiversity. The genetic pollution. The new generation of GM plants. The biology of conservation.
This course will be developed around three main issues:1) The study of biogeography to analyse the evolution of biological populations.
2) The study of biogeography in relation to the conservation biology.
3) The study of biogeography in relation to the human activities: crop cultivation and animal husbandry.
Computational biology
Archives and informational retrieval: access to archives (ENTREZ, SRS PIR, ExPASy, Ensembl). Nucleic acid sequence databases, protein sequence databases, domains and motives databases; protein structure databases; Genome databases.
Sequence alignments: algorithms, dotplots, substitution matrices (PAM e BLOSUM); dynamic PROGRAMMEing algorithms (Smith & Waterman); euristicmethods (FASTA, BLAST); multiple sequence alignments (CLUSTALW, T-COFFEE); applications of multiple sequence alignments to database searching: PSI-BLAST, Profiles. Structural analysis of proteins: automatic learning methods: neural networks, Hidden Markov Models, the genetic algorithm; search for patterns and motives in protein sequences (PROSITE); secondary structure prediction methods: Chou-Fassman, GOR, PSIPRED, PREDATOR e JPRED; tertiary structure prediction methods: homology modelling, fold recognition, ex-novo methods (ROSETTA).
Molecular evolution: genetic distances between nucleic acid and aminoacidic sequences; molecular phylogenesis; phylogenetic trees. COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY LABORATORY: search for gene and protein sequences in databases; similarity search; multiple alignments; functional analysis of proteins; secondary structure prediction; use of PDBviewer for 3Dstructure analysis.
Molecular biology of eukaryotic cells
Transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes. Chromatin organization and gene expression. Acetyltransferases. Deacetylases. Silencing, a model for silent chromatin assembly in yeast. Expression systems. Eukaryotic microorganisms: Yeast transformation. ARS and 2 micron vectors. Gene targeting. Yeast expression vectors. Inducible andconstitutive promoters. The GAL system. Higher Eukaryotes: Transfection systems for mammalian cells. Transient and stable expressions. Tet-on and Tet-off systems. Analysis of gene expression and of macromolecules interactions.Real Time PCR(Sybr green and Fluorescent probes), Melting curve profiles, Quantitative Real Time PCR. DNA arrays (oligonucleotides and cDNA). Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP). ChIP on chips. One-hybrid and two-hybrid systems.
Quantitative biology
Applications of multivariate statistical analysis to biological studiesExperimental design in biologySampling and census methods in biologyStatistical models in biologyPopulation dynamicsMathematical models in population geneticsMathematical models in evolution Cytogenetics
Chromatin architecture and chromosome division mechanism in cel ular division; cell cultures for kariotypization; techniques for chromosome; normal human kariotype; anomalies in number and structure; meiotic and mitotic mechanisms at the base of numeric anomalies; molecular mechanisms at the base of chromosome disruptions; phenotypic effect of chromosome anomalies;effect on subject reproduction; population frequency and recurrence risks; prenatal analysis Embryology
gametogenesis: spermatogenesis and oogenesis in mammalsfertilisation: acrosomal reaction and interaction between spermatozoa and oocyte. Fertilisation leads to the formation of a diploid called zygote.
segmentation: morphology of blastula and implantation.
gastrulation, extra embryonal structure (chorion, amniotic sac,…).
organogenesis: -neurulation: mechanisms that regulate the primary and the secondary neurulation.
-somitogenesis. The somites differentiate to form: scleratome - future cartilage of the axial skeltion; -myotome - future muscles; dermatome - cells that contribute to the connective tissue of the dermis. -differentiation of urogenital system.
-differentiation of lower and upper limbs Molecular evolution
Genes: organization, function and evolution. 2) Gene duplication; gene families;concerted evolution. 3) Mutations and substitutions. 4) Measurement of genetic distances. 5) Neutralists vs gradualists: Kimura and the neutral theory. 6) Evolutionary rates and synonymous vs non synonymous substitutions. 7) Isocores and bias in the codon usage. 8) Molecular clocks. 9) Genome evolution and genomics. 10) Intron evolution and junk DNA. 11) Transposable elements. 12) Adaptative mutations Antibacterial agents: inhibitors of bacterial cell wall (penicillins,
cephalosporins, phosphomycin, cycloserine, vancomycin, monobactames,
carbapenemes, isoniazid). Inhibitors of transcription and traduction process
(rifampicin, aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, macrolides, chloramphenicol).
Inhibitors of DNA synthesis and integrity (sulphonamides, trimethropin,
Antiviral agents: Inhibitors of attachment, penetration and uncoating of
virus (enfuvirtide, amantadine, rimantadine). Inhibitors of viral genome
replication (nucleoside and nucleotide analogs, non nucleoside inhibitors of
DNA polymerase, reverse transcriptase inhibitors). Inhibitors of virus
maturation and release (protease and neuroaminidase inhibitors).
Pharmacology of parasitic infections: Antimalarial agents (eme metabolism
inhibitors, electron transport chain inhibitors, folate metabolism inhibitors).
Antimycotic agents: drugs active on cel wall (echinocandins). Drugs active on
plasma membrane (azoles, polyenes). DNA synthesis inhibitors
(5-fluorouracil). Mitosis inhibitors (griseofulvin).
Antineoplastic agents: principles of antineoplastic chemotherapy. Drugs
acting on DNA structure (alkylating agents, platinum derivatives, bleomycin).
Topoisomerase I inhibitors (camptothecins). Topoisomerase II inhibitors
(anthracyclines, epipodophyllotoxins). Microtubule inhibitors (vinca alkaloids,
taxans). Folate inhibitors (methotrexate, trimetrexate, edatrexate).
Thymidylate synthetase inhibitors ( 5-fluorouracil). Purine metabolism
inhibitors (6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine). Ribonucleotide reductase
inhibitors (hydroxyurea). Purine and pyrimidine analogs incorporated into DNA
(thioguanine, fludarabine phosphate, cytarabine, 5-azacytidine). Breast cancer
hormon therapy (gonadotropin releasing hormon agonists, antiestrogens,
progestins, aromatase inhibitors). Prostate cancer hormon therapy
(gonadotropin releasing hormon agonists, antiandrogens, estrogens). New
therapeuthic strategies for tumors (immunotherapy, tirosin kinase inhibitors,
ras inhibitors, angiogenesis inhibitors, gene therapy for cancer).
Toxicology: basic principles of toxicology. Acute toxicity, LD50 and safety
margin evaluation. Subchronic and chronic toxicity tests. Mutagenesis tests.
Cancerogenesis tests. Teratogenesis tests. Organ toxicity. Hypersensitivity
reactions to drugs (allergies and idiosyncrasies).
Cellular physiology
Biophysics of ion channels and membrane transporters: physiology and structure-function studies. Review of the main types of ion channels and transporters. Selectivity, molecular determinants of activation and inactivation and regulatory mechanisms. Principal methods in cell physiology.
Control of cell pH. Mechanisms of cell migration. Cell firing: main features andregulation. From the cellular to the network properties. Optical methods in cell physiology and calcium signals. Pathological implications.
Morphogenesis, seed maturation and germination, fruit ripening, leaf senescence and PROGRAMMEed cell death.
Biotic interactions: plant-plant (allelopathy), plant-herbivore, plant-pathogen.
Fundamental laws of muscle and their molecular interpretation • Ventricular mechanics and principles of hemodynamics Cardiac electrophysiology (cellular and organ) Myocardial metabolism and mitochondrial function Molecular physiology of cardiac contraction (calcium handling, sarcomere structure-function, regulation) and detailed analysis of the pressure/volume loop• Vascular physiology (smooth muscle, endothelium and their interplay) Peculairities of pulmonary and coronary circles and their regulation Pathophysiology of cardiac hypertrophy/failure (etiology, neurohumaral response and signaling, molecular mechanisms and consequences of myocardial remodeling, systemic consequences of pump failure)• Pathophysiology of atherosclerosis (lipid metabolism, trasport and targeting, etiology, mechanisms in plaque formation and evolution, role of endothelial dysfunction, hemodynamic consequences and adaptive responses).
• Pathophysiology of myocardial ischemia (ischemia vs. infarction, cellular response to acute ischemia and reperfusion, mechanisms of pre- and post-conditioning).
The course will address, through the analysis of original literature, the genetic issues concerning:-vertebrate embryonic development and tissue-specific cell differentiation (hematopoietic system; muscle; nervous system; pluripotent cells of the early embryo), with a focus on the mouse experimental model system (transgenesis, gene targeting, embryonic stem –ES, iPS- cells)-the molecular control of gene expression (particularly transcription) in eucaryotic cel s, with a focus on examples of genes involved in tissue-specific differentiation (regulation of globin genes, etc.) Molecular genetics
Through the discussion of recent papers, the course will address the molecular basis of:-X chromosome inactivation and models of epigenetic control-sex determination(with more in-depth study of one or the other on alternate years)-experimental animal models of human genetic disease: a) models of recessive disease: thalassemia, cyctic fibrosis. Different mutations modelling different aspects of the disease. Genetic background. Modifier genes and their identification. b) models of dominant disease. Triplet expansion; inducible transgenes and studies on disease reversibility. c) contiguous gene syndromes (e.g. Di George syndrome). The course may include research seminars on issues related to the course.
Applied immunology
hipersensibility autoimmunity and autoimmune diseasesprimary and secondary immunodeficiencies allograft rejectiontumor immunologyvaccines Laboratory of Statistics
The cycle of the statistical analysis and its significance in the planning of a biological experiment- Probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, statistical tests, errors of first and second type and power of the test- Point and interval estimation of a sample mean Hypothesis testing: the case of comparing two or more sample means Hypothesis testing: the case of comparing two or more sample Biochemical methodologies
Centrifugation techniques: differential and density gradient centrifugation; analytical ultracentrifugation. Spectroscopic techniques (UV and visible light spectroscopy; spectrofluorimetry; circular dichroism, FT-IR spectroscopy). Protein concentration assays and enzymatic activity assay. Chromatographic techniques (basic principles, gel filtration, ionic exchange, hydrophobic and affinity chromatography, cromatofocusing, FPLC, HPLC, thin layer chromatography). Immunochemical techniques: western blot, immunoassays, immunohistochemistry. Fluorescence microscopy (FRET, FRAP), confocal microscopy, two-photons excitation microscopy. Radioisotope techniques. Electrochemical techniques: Clark Oxygen electrode. Strategies for protein purification. Aminoacid analysis. Protein sequencing. Mass spectrometry. Atomic force microscopy. Methods for 3D structure determination: NMR and X-rays crystallography.
Molecular microbiology
host-parasite interaction. the normal flora of humans. bacterial pathogens: molecular strategies for evading or surviving the defense systems of the human body. respiratory apparatus infections. gastrointestinal infections. antimicrobial compounds. antibiotics, mechanisms of action. how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. vaccinesfunctional genomics as a tool for virulence genes identification and novel antibacterial discovery. large scale identification of virulence genes: ivet and stm. functional genomics in the process of antibacterial discovery.
bacterial cell surface structures: role and biogenesis Neurosciences
Teaching concerns deep knowledge of the unique functions of the brain functioning. Starting from the reductionist approach, we will study the importance of the various types of memory, of the synaptic plasticity, of the representation, in the cerebral areas, of experience and consciousness of the external world with particular emphasis on language, thinking and neurodegenerative syndromes.
CELL GENEALOGIES:Introduction and definitions.
Differentiation process, functional maturation and multipotentiality.
Bona fide and potential stem cells and cel ular homeostasis.
CELLULAR COMPARTMENTS: Definition of stemness, functional features of stemness and self-renewal.
Transient progenitors cells: their function in cell and tissue homeostasis.
HIERARCHICAL CELLULAR MODELS:Single-cell model. Clonal succession model, deterministic model, stochastic models.
SOMATIC STEM CELLS:Issues and characterizations.
Molecular and cellular oncology
The course of Molecular and Cellular Oncology is designed to provide the students with the necessary tools to appreciate the experimental pathways that lead to the formulation of the principle we think are defining cancer as agenetic disease.
The course will be based on the critical reading of relevant recent publications in the field of Oncology, with particular emphasis placed on the analysis of in vivo models, reverse genetics approaches and new technologies. Role of Apoptosis, Senescence and the DNA Damage Response in tumor suppression and in the response to chemotherapy.
Genomic and genetic instability and Cancer: analysis of how mutations in genesand pathways that preserve genome integrity predispose to cancer. Stem Cells and Cancer: the Hematopoietic system as a paradigm to the study of Stem Cell properties, the Leukemic Stem Cell, and Cancer Stem Cells in solid tumors (the example of breast cancer) The epigenetic control of Cancer: the role of Policomb Repressors in Stem cell biology and tumor suppression MicroRNA and Cancer: identification and functional characterization of MicroRNA in cancer.
Metabolic diseases
Aminoacid and nucleotide metabolism diseases: Phenylketonuria, alcaptonuria, cystinuria, maple syrup urine disease, albinism; gout; Nyhan-Lesch syndrome; porphyrias.
Glucidic metabolism diseases: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
Glycogenosis. Galactosemia.
Lysosomal storage diseases: Sphingolipidosis (GM1 gangliosidosis, Tay-Sachs disease, Sandhoff disease, Fabry disease, Farber disease, metacromatic leukodistrophy, Krabbe disease, Gaucher disease, Farber diseases, Niemann-Pick disease); mucopolysaccharidosis (Hurler syndrome, Hunter syndrome, Sanfilippo syndrome, Morquio syndrome); oligosaccharidosis (sialidosis); Pompe disease.
Pathologies caused by defects in carrier proteins: cystic fibrosisBlood clotting diseases: hemophilias, von Willebrandt diseaseNeurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amylotrophic lateral sclerosis. Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Prions diseases. Trinucleotide repeat disorders: fragile X syndrome, polyQ diseases (ataxias, Huntington disease).
Introduction: energetic metabolism, metabolic rate and body dimensions.
Thermoregulation: general aspects, heat exchange. Response to low and high T. Reaction rate, T and Q10. Thermoceptors. Homeothermy. Hypothalamic control. Adaptations to extreme T. Ectothermy and heterothermy. Torpor, hybernation, estivation.
Biological rhythms: infra- circa- ed ultradian rhythms. Pulsatile hormone release: GnRH. Circadian rhythms: SCN nucleus, photic stimuli, retinohypothalamic tract, epiphysis and melatonin. Sleep-waking cycle: phases and physiology. Other rhythms.
Sensory systems: fundamentals of sensory coding. Peripheral and central control. Sensitivity, adaptation. Sensory filters. Special sensory organs (IR detection, megneto- and electroception, etc.)Neuroethology: mechanisms of orientation. Synapse formation and plasticity. Introduction to the neurobiological bases of instinct, learning and memory.
Some aspects of developmental physiology: cell signaling and ion fluxes at fertilization an early development. Egg activation and determination of embryonic axes. Special adaptations in osmoregulation.
Human genetics
The aim of the course is to provide an overview of principles of human genetics analysis and of disease gene identification strategies in mendelian and in complex diseases. Case studies (from original articles) will be presented to il ustrate the relationship between mutations, molecular pathogenic mechanisms and phenotype. Approaches to genetic testing and genetic treatment of disease will be presented.
The course will consist in a seminar series, addressing the molecular mechanisms of human genetic disease, with a focus on pathological alterations of mechanisms of gene transcription and translation.

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