First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP9088037, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1731, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge PAOLA VENIER BIO/19
Other lecturers SARA BOGIALLI CHIM/01

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/18 Genetics 2.0
Core courses BIO/18 Genetics 1.0
Core courses CHIM/01 Analytical Chemistry 3.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 TOSSICOLOGIA GENETICA E CHIMICA DELL'AMBIENTE 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 VENIER PAOLA (Presidente)
BOGIALLI SARA (Membro Effettivo)
GROSS SILVIA (Controrelatore)

Prerequisites: Essentials of general, inorganic and organic Chemistry, Biology and Genetics
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims at providing knowledge on chemical processes and reactions involved in the action of chemical pollutants in different environmental compartments (air, water, soil), the variety of toxic agents and their possible effects at different levels of biological organization. This will enable students to acquire working knowledge rooted on 1) principles of environmental chemistry and toxicology, 2) natural and man-made toxic agents, 3) toxicity mechanisms, with special attention to structural and functional changes of the genetic material, 4) analytical methods and biological assays to characterize contaminants of interest and detect both exposure and toxicant-induced responses in humans and other living organisms.
Following an inter-disciplinary approach, students are expected to improve the document search and a critical view on problems related to toxic agents.
Examination methods: The exam will be a verbal interview on Part A (CHIM, 3 CFU) and Part B (BIO, 3 CFU). For Part B, the student will also debate a topic (toxic agent, biological process in terms of function/dysfunction, investigation method) agreed with the teacher during the course and based on the scientific literature. Effective reporting of biotechnological aspects will be positively evaluated.
Assessment criteria: The exam will assess 1) understanding and learning of general concepts and specific course subjects, 2) search ability and critical thinking on facts and hypothesis related to toxic agents, 3) correct use of terms and verbal efficacy, 4) positive interactions during the course.
Course unit contents: The following contents will be expanded or reduced according to the student’s skills and interests.
Part A (CHIM).
Chemico-physical properties and main descriptors in environmental chemistry. Evaluation of the pollutant distribution in air, water and soil. How chemical speciation affects the distribution of chemicals in the environment and their toxicity. Examples and model study cases (1.25 CFU).
Macro and micro-pollutants of the environment: organic compounds, metals, emerging contaminants. Radionuclides, sources of radioactive contamination. European regulatory aspects. Risk evaluation and management of the main pollutants (1.25 CFU).
Methods for determining main chemical parameters and contaminants. Examples of pollutants and case studies (0.5 CFU).
Part B (BIO).
Variety of toxic agents and possible adverse effects at different levels of biological organization. Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics (in general). Biological targets, exposure measurements, effect and susceptibility. Dose-response with/without threshold, hormesis. Hazard, risk, harm. Safety/precautionary symbols and regulations. Criteria for the identification of toxic agents, with particular attention to genetic and reproductive toxicity (1.25 CFU).
Effects and responses induced by non-ionizing and ionizing radiations. Dose units. Adaptive response, bystander effect, radio-resistance in cancer cells and in extremophilic microbes. Effects and responses induced by chemical compounds: examples related to pesticides, metals/metalloids, animal/plant toxins (1.25 CFU).
Microbe-mediated bioremediation strategies (0.5 CFU).
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Interactive development of the course topics; use of scientific papers, toxicological databases and other web resources; possible initiatives: individual and group work, seminars and, if feasible, visits to external sites.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Toxicology and environmental chemistry books, scientific journals, lecture files as a study guide.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • S. E. Mahan, Environmental Chemistry. Boa Raton: CRC Press, 2009. 9th Ed Cerca nel catalogo
  • C. Klaassen, Casarett and Doull's Toxicology: the basic science of poisons. New York: McGraw Hill, 2013. 8th Ed (printed or electronic version) Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Flipped classroom

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Zero Hunger Good Health and Well-Being Clean Water and Sanitation Decent Work and Economic Growth Responsible Consumption and Production Climate Action Life Below Water Life on Land