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: 

Biochemistry module:
The examination is organized in a written test (time: 90 minutes) concerning quantitative biochemistry (three exercises, one on each of the following topics: pH and buffer solutions; enzyme kinetics and inhibitions, thermodynamics and redox reactions) and knowledge of macromolecules (3 open questions and 6-8 multiple-choice questions). Exercise/question has a score: the final score (in 30ies) will be in the sum of the scores of the singles exercises/questions (maxiumum score 33/30, corresponding to 30 cum laude). The examination is passed with a score of 18/30. Passed the written part, the student can access the oral examination, which is aimed to verify the knowledge of the metabolism (second part of the lessons). The examination is passed with a score of 18/30.
Bioinformatics module:
i) Students must have carried out exercises in the classroom during the lessons. The verification of the performance of this activity takes place through the delivery of a PDF report within a week of the end of the lessons (it does not contribute to determining the mark). ii) The bioinformatics test consists of 10 multiple-choice questions. The test is evaluated out of thirty and is considered passed with a vote of at least 18/30.

The final grade will be the weighted average of the outcome of the individual tests: 0.25 written test, 0.50 oral test, 0.25 bioinformatics test. Honors are conferred only in the event of a mark of 30 cum laude in the oral exam and in the written exam and in bioinformatics without errors.

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.


- 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