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Cell Biology and Genetics

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CBG

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Academic year 2019/2020

Course ID
SCB0198
Teaching staff
Prof. Isabelle Perroteau (Coordinator)
Prof. Adriano Ceccarelli
Claudia Giachino
Prof. Saverio Francesco Retta
Year
1st year
Type
Basic
Credits/Recognition
11
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
BIO/13 - biologia applicata
MED/03 - genetica medica
Delivery
Blended
Language
English
Attendance
Mandatory
Type of examination
Written
Prerequisites
B2 English level
IMAT biology program
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Sommario del corso

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Course objectives

CBG is a basic course in modern medical education, the purpose of which is to make medical students master the structure and functions of cellular components, as well as genetic regulation and mechanisms; and know the development and trends of the science and the application of new technology. This knowledge will provide a solid foundation for studying other related courses (basic and clinical). 

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Results of learning outcomes

At the end of the CBG course the student is expected to have:

  • Deep knowledge and understanding of cell structures and the dynamic functional activities of cells, cell communication, proliferation and survival
  • Reached awareness that all pathologies result ultimately from dysfunctions - of genetic or environmental origin - in cellular activities. 
  • Acquired the ability to critically interpret the scientific data present in the relative international literature.
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Course delivery

Instructional techniques include direct instruction, question and answer, problem-solving and discovery learning. Molecular Genetics module is delivered using the flipped classroom instructional strategy. Students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, usually via reading or lecture videos, and then class time is used to do the harder work of assimilating that knowledge through strategies such as collaborative and peer learning, problem-solving, discussion or debates.  The key purpose of the flipped classroom is to engage students in active learning where there is a greater focus on students' application of conceptual knowledge rather than factual recall.

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Learning assessment methods

No changes in the above learning outcomes that will be assessed

Assessment will follow the formal indications.

The Faculty will each comunicate a webex link to enroled students as indicated. Prior to assessment, the student will be identified as indicated. The student under assessment will turn on microphone and webcam. At least another student will be connected as well, with webcam on and microphone off.

Further details on assessment method: 

Cell Biology and Human Genetics:

  • Student missing MG mark only, will not be requested to sit again for CB+HG assessment in April 24 or June 26 exam sessions. CB+HG mark will be taken in account by default in the final grading. 
  • Student with CBG grade registered as failed is requested to sit again for CB+HG on April 24th or any further exam session.
  • Student that will be finished with MG by May can enrol for April 24th exam session and sit for CB+HG only.
  • Note that student with a mark for CB+HG <15,33/30 are registered as failed since weight average CBG final grade is <18/30 .  
  • For organizational reasons, student planning to sit for CB+HG assessment on April 24th, is invited to register on the specific new "CB+HG" enrolment page on unito. 
  • Giachino C.: the identified student will answer 3 questions randomly extracted from a pool of open questions on the moodle exam platform. Test time: 10-15min/student.
  • Perroteau I.: the identified student will sort and discuss 3 questions randomly extracted from a pool of open and closed questions on moodle exam platform. Test time: 10-15min/student. 
  • Retta F.: the identified student will be interviewed orally on two topics of the cell biology program (CB part II). The questions will be randomly extracted from a pool of open and closed questions on moodle. Test time: 10-15min/student.
Molecular Genetics:
  • Ceccarelli A: each student ,after eing identified,  will sit and discuss with the teacher the work produced during the workshop activity. If necessary, in order to assess the achievement of more complex learning outcomes it will be possible to relate the questions produced during the workshop to the topics of the essays assigned at the end of each of the MG units.

Final CBG grade is calculated as weighted average of the independent assessments. Students will be informed if they passed or failed the exam by receiving their grade with automatic email message form Unito. Final grade are considered as accepted by default. Final grade can be deny within 5 days of the comunication of the final grade. 

  • All marks are expressed as a value out of 30 points.
  • The final CBG grading is the weighted average of the marks of each lecturer.
  • Students with a weighted average of 30/30 and that have demonstrated high level of particpation to lectures and activities, both online and in class, can also be granted "30/30 cum lauda" as a commun decision of the 4 lecturers.
  • Final CBG grading, not each independent assessment, less than 18/30 will be considered as failed. Students with failed will have to sit again for the exam in one of the next sessions. 
  • The minutes with the final CBG mark is published at the end of each exam session.
  • Students within 5 days can deny their mark and sit again in one of the next sessions.


Students can sit for the exam up to 3 times/accademic year

  • The web application through which the University manages the exams, from booking the registration to online filing of the results, is the ESSE3 platform.
  • In order to sit an exam, it is mandatory to register on ESSE3.
  • Instructions for students: log in to the portal UniTO.it and access the page MyUniTO. Then select the "Esami" entry "Exam sessions" (warning: not from the "Careers"> "Booklet")

Cell Biology and Human genetics assessment
  • ll students will sit for a unique moodle test of 120 min consisting of: 30 questions on Cell Biology and 5 questions on Human genetics.
  • Questions will be created in the following formats: multiple choice, matching, ordering, drag and drop onto image, drag and drop onto text, fill in the blank, extended written response and problem solving. 
Molecular genetics summative assessment - mandatory
  • not subjected to timetable
  • best 3/4 end-of-unit tests and assays. 
  • mark will be taken in account for formal grading up to december 2020 exam session.

 

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Support activities

Students with disorders that may affect learning (e.g. color blind students, visually impaired, hearing impaired, dyslexic or with physical disabilities) are encouraged to contact the lecturers to adapt learning materials, activities and testing methods.

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Program

Delivered according to the traditional classroom instructional strategy

Unit 01 Introduction to the cell 
Lectures (8 hrs)
- Cell membrane 
- Subcellular compartments: structure and functions
Student activities (4 hrs)
- Formative assessment (online)
- Critical thinking and inquiry skills: discussion on experimental study of cell structure and functions. 

Unit 02 Cell structures and functions 
Lectures (8 hrs)
- Protein synthesis and sorting to nucleus, mitochondria and peroxisomes
- The secretory pathway and vesicle-mediated transport
- Exocytosis, exosomes and microvesicles. Endocytosis, phagocytosis and macropinocytosis
- Transporters and channels
Student activities (4 hrs)
-Cognitive skills: Formative assessment on biological membranes (online) 
-Reasoning skills: Problem solving on molecular sorting
-Case study discussion: CFRT and Cystic fibrosis

Unit 03: Cell communication and signaling 
Lectures (8 hrs)
- Principle of cell communication
- G-protein coupled receptors - Heterotrimeric G protein-linked signal transduction - AC, PKA, PLC, PKC, PI3K
- Enzyme-linked receptors and cytokine receptors: RSTK, TKR, RPTPs, cytokine receptors
- Alternative signalings: adhesion receptors, protease-activated receptors, nuclear receptors and circadian clocks
Student activities (4 hrs)
- Cognitive skills: Formative assessment on cell communication and signalling
- Reasoning skills: Problem solving on signal transduction
- Problem-based discussion on cell communication and GPCR and enzyme-linked receptors signal transduction 
- Problem-based discussion on alternative signalings

Delivered according to the flipped classroom instructional strategy

Nucleus and DNA: how genetic information is organized, propagated and maintained
Online lectures (12 hrs)
-Pro- and eukaryotic genomes 
-The ENCODE project
-Chromatin and higher order nuclear organization of DNA
-DNA replication
-DNA damage and repair mechanisms
-Mitosis and meiosis
-Mobile Genetic Elements and genome evolution
-Molecular Medicine*: higher order chromatin organization and human diseases
Student activities (6 hrs)
-Critical thinking skills: problem-based discussion on DNA manipulation and genetic engineering basics (0,5 hr - group activity)
-Problem solving and collaborative skills: group activity on problems about gene definition, eukaryotic gene structure (1 hr - Group Activity)
-Problem solving and collaborative skills: group activity on problems about regulation of genome 3D architecture, relationship between 3D organization and genetic phenomena such as chromosomal rearrangements (1,5 hrs - Group activity)
-Critical thinking skills and problem solving skills: discussion the need for the quantitative regulation of DNA replication - eukaryotic vs prokaryotic (1 hr - group activity)
-Reasoning skills: problems on DNA replication-DNA repair/cell cycle relationship (1 hr - group activity)
-Reasoning skills: problems on replication of epigenome and discussion on its implications (1 hr - Group activity)

Nucleus and RNA: copying and distributing genetic information
Online lectures (6 hrs)
-Pro- and Eukaryotic Transcription -
-Eukaryotic RNA processing and editing
-Transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of gene expression
-Molecular Medicine: exploiting transcriptional control for the therapy of human diseases
Student activities (3 hrs)
-critical thinking skills: focus on bacterial and eukaryotic gene regulation (20 - individual test followed by group activity)
-mini lecture 1 on experimental approach to eukaryotic gene regulation (5'- ppt slides)
-critical thinking skills: problems on minilecture 1 (15' group activity)
-minilecture 2 on experimental approach to eukaryotic gene regulation (5'- ppt slides)
-critical thinking skills: problems on minilecture 2 (15' group activity)
-minilecture 3 on experimental approach to eukaryotic gene regulation (5'- ppt slides)
-critical thinking skills: problems on minilecture 3 (15' group activity)
-minilecture 4 on experimental approach to eukaryotic gene regulation (5'- ppt slides)
-problem solving skills: problems on minilecture 4 (15' group activity)
-Problem based discussion and critical thinking skills: discussion of paper Intron-early/Intron-late and the exon theory of gene and of its implication fo eukaryotic (human) genome evolution (80' - peer-to-peer discussion followed by problem solving group activity)

RNA in the cytoplasm: usage of coding and non-coding genetic information
Online lectures (6 hrs)
-The genetic code - Translation
-Non-coding regulatory RNAs - RNA interference and other regulatory networks
-The mitochondrial genetic system
Student activities (3 hrs)
-Reasoning skills: problems on relevance of abnormal splicing to protein structure (1 hr - group activity)
-Reasoning skills: problems on non-coding RNA regulatory roles (1 hr - Group activity)
-Reasoning skills: problems on protein synthesis and relevance of differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic mechanisms

Delivered according to the traditional classroom instructional strategy

Unit 04: Cell shape and motility 
Lectures (8 hrs)
- Cytoskeleton: Microfilaments, microtubules and intermediate filaments assembly and regulation
- Motor proteins of microfilaments and microtubules. Specialized structures: mitotic spindle, flagella, axon
- Cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion and signaling 
- Motility processes and cell migration. Chemotaxis
Student activities (4 hrs)
- Cognitive, reasoning and communication skills: development and presentation of cooperative studies (group learning and group work at home) aimed at deeper understanding and contextualization in the medical field of the biological topics covered (4hrs, face to face).

Unit 05: Cell proliferation and survival
Lectures (10 hrs)
- Cell cycle regulation
- Mitosis and meiosis
- Accidental and programmed cell death
- Autophagy in cell survival and death
Student activities (4 hrs)
- Cognitive, reasoning and communication skills: development and presentation of cooperative studies (group learning and group work at home) aimed at deeper understanding and contextualization in the medical field of the biological topics covered (4hrs, face to face).

Unit 06 Cell differentiation
Lectures (6 hrs)
- Stem cells, cell differentiation, and development of multicellular organisms. Cell tracing 
- Nuclear reprogramming and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
- Genetically modified animal models
Student activities (4 hrs)
- Cognitive, reasoning and communication skills: development and presentation of cooperative studies (group learning and group work at home) aimed at deeper understanding and contextualization in the medical field of the biological topics covered (4hrs, face to face).

Delivered according to the traditional classroom instructional strategy

Unit 01 Genetic heredity in eukaryotes
Lectures (8 hrs)
- Genetic stability and variability, Monofactorial characters and Mendel's laws
- Autosomal and X-linked characters
- Mitochondrial inheritance of diseases
- Herediting polygenic characters
- Molecular analysis of human loci
Student activities (4 hrs)
- Adaptive thinking and reasoning skills: Interpretation of family trees
- Reasoning skills: Problem solving on human disease inheritance

Unit 02 Mutations, population genetics and innovative therapies
Lectures (8 hrs)
- Point, chromosomal and genomic mutations
- Genetic variability and its modulation inside populations
- Immunogenetics and gene therapy
- Stem cell genetics and regenerative medicine
Student activities (4 hrs)
- Reasoning skills: problem solving on population genetics
- Critical thinking and inquiry skills: problem-based discussion on innovative therapies

Suggested readings and bibliography

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Adopted textbook: Molecular Biology of the Cell, B. Alberts, 6th edition, Garland Sciences (eTextbook edition recommended for inclass activities)

All the teaching materials is available on the elearning platform: Moodle



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