Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (88 hours), Exercise (12 hours)

Basic knowledge of cell biology and general and organic chemistry are required.

Final Examination: 

The examination is organized in a written test concerning quantitative biochemistry (pH and buffer solutions; enzyme kineticas and inhibitions, thermodynamics and redox reactions) and knowledge of macromolecules (four open questions and 2-3 exercises, 2-3 open questions, 7-8 questions. 90 minutes).
Passed the written part, the student can access the oral examination, which is aimed to verify the knowledge of the metabolism (Part B).

- bioinformatics module:
Students must individually perform about 10 practical PC exercises covering the topics presented during the course. Results will be reported in a digital file (pdf) that must be produced at the end of the test. The student must also answer to two questions concerning the subjects discussed during the lessons. Test will be held in the informatic classroom. Evidence is evaluated as approved / unapproved. To be approved, the report must include all the proposed exercises and the answers to the proposed questions.
The final score of the course is given in 30ies and is the average of the scores of each part: the examination is successful if a score ≥ 18/30 is gained in each examination. The bioinformtic test does not concur to the definition of the final grades.

Voto Finale

The course of Biochemistry and Bioinformatics is one of the courses that give to the students basic knowledge about molecular aspects of the functioning of the living organisms and of the relationships between structure and functions at molecular level.

Learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will:
- know the fundamental elements on the structure, properties and functions of the main biological molecules
- know main metabolic pathways
- understand the correlations among the main metabolic pathways and the pathophysiologic processes in man
- give some examples of employing if biochemical processes in biotechnology
- calculate the parameters of biochemical reactions (enzyme kinetics, equilibrium of reactions, thermodynamic parameters)
- know the theoretical and practical bases to use the main bioinformatics resources (databanks and bioinformatic tools) useful in biotechnology.

Biochemistry (lectures, 56 hours):
Part A: Structure and function of biological macromolecules
- Elementary composition of living organisms; - Water and water solutions: pH and buffer solutions;
- amino acids and proteins: structure and properties;
- carbohydrates (mono-, oligo and polysaccharides); lipids; nucleotides and nucleic acids.
Part B: The metabolism:
- the enzymes; introduction to the metabolism; thermodynamics.
- Metabolism of carbohydrates: Glycolysis, Krebs’ cycle and oxidative phosphorylation; photosynthesis;
- Metabolism of lipids;
- Metabolism of proteins and of amino acids; the urea cycle
- Integration of metabolism and cell signalling: mechanisms of metabolic control. Mechanisms of signaling.
- Information metabolism: DNA replication; DNA transcription; protein synthesis.

Tutorials (12 hours):
- Exercises on pH and buffer solutions;
- Enzyme kinetics and inhibition
- Thermodynamic and redox reactions.

Bioinformatics (32 hours):
- Introduction to biological databases.
- Search and analysis of macromolecule sequences.
- Alignment of two or multiple sequences.
- Search of similar sequences by BLAST.
- Generation of phylogentic trees.

Pollegioni, L. Fondamenti di Biochimica. EdiSES (Italian only).
Berg J., Timoczcko J.L., Stryer L., Biochemistry (Freeman & Co.)
Nelson D.L., Cox M.M., Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (Freeman & Co.)
Garrett R.H., Grisham C.M., Biochemistry (Brooks/Cole)
Devlin, T.M., Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations (Wiley & Sons)
Mathews, C.K., Van Holde K.E., Appling D.R., Anthony-Cahill, S.J., Biochemistry (Pearson Education Canada)
Voet D., Voet J.G., Pratt C.W., Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level. (Wiley & Sons).
Campbell M.K., Farrell S.O., McDougal O.M., Biochemistry (Brooks/Cole).


- Biochemistry: 56 hours
- Bioinformatics: 32 hours

- Biochemistry: 12 hours

Classes and tutorials will be carried out with the use of Power Point presentations. The presentations will be available on e-learning platform.
The bioinformatics lessons will last 3 hours each and will be held in the informatic classroom. Each student will have a PC at his disposal to individually experiment the subjects covered during the lessons.

Students can meet the professors by appointment (e-mail to: and