First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCN1036885, A.A. 2019/20

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

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IF1839, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination CELLS BIOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
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 LUISA DALLA VALLE BIO/06

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses BIO/01 General Botanics 1.0
Core courses BIO/06 Comparative Anatomy and Citology 7.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 3
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2011 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
11 BIOLOGIA CELLULARE 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 DALLA VALLE LUISA (Presidente)
PONTARIN GIOVANNA (Membro Effettivo)
10 BIOLOGIA CELLULARE 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 DALLA VALLE LUISA (Presidente)
PONTARIN GIOVANNA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Student needs appropriate knowledge (high school level) of chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology.
Target skills and knowledge: The course is aimed at providing knowledge on cell biology to acquire:
1) a clear understanding on cell structure, functions of organelles and cellular components, interactions between cells;
2) a basic knowledge on cell biology techniques and experimental approaches;
3) the use of appropriate scientific terminology.
Through the laboratory activities and the preparation of a final report, the student can work in collaboration and use some of the techniques described during the course.
Examination methods: The acquired knowledge will be verified through a written test, held in a computer room on the platform moodle. The test will include:
1) multiple-choice questions, true/false, completion of texts, maching terms with definition. The questions will cover all topics of Cell biology course.
2) Two short and one long essays aimed at highlighting the knowledge, the scientific terminology and the synthesis ability acquired during the course.
Examples of written examination are part of the online activities (self-assessment tests).
Assessment criteria: The evaluation of the exam will consider:
1) ability to describe cell structure and functions;
2) completeness of the acquired knowledge;
3) knowledge of the experimental approaches discussed in class;
4) synthesis capacity;
5) correct use of scientific language.
Course unit contents: Detailed program:
1) Cell evolution in relation to the external environment. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Size and shape of cells. Tools and methods used in cell biology. The main characteristics of biological macromolecules useful for understanding cell organization and function. (1 CFU lectures)
2) The plasma membrane: structure, component and molecular organization. Membrane permeability and transport systems. (1 CFU lectures)
3) The integration of cells into tissues through cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions (cell junctions, cell adhesion and extracellular matrix). Cell surface specializations: microvilli, cilia and flagella. (0.5 CFU lectures)
4) The major cytoskeletal components of cells (microtubules and actin filaments, intermediate filaments, motor proteins); actin and myosin interactions in muscle and non-muscle cells. (0.5 CFU lectures)
5) Cytoplasmic membrane systems: structure and function of smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complex and lysosomes. Signal sequence and post-translational proteins modifications. Native conformation and chaperone proteins. Intracellular vesicular traffic (vesicle formation and coat proteins). Autophagy and turnover of cell organelles. Exocytosis and endocytosis. (1 CFU lectures)
6) Mitochondria and chloroplasts: molecular structure and function. Endosymbiontic origin. (0.5 CFU lectures)
7) The cell nucleus: nuclear envelope, pores, histones, nucleosomes and chromatin structure; nucleus-cytoplasmic transport. Nucleolus structure and function. (0.5 CFU lectures)
8) The eukaryotic cell cycle: the phases of the cell cycle (G1-S-G2, M). Molecular mechanics of mitosis and meiosis. Regulation of the cell cycle: checkpoint cell cycle control, activation and control of cyclin dependent kinase activity. Cell proliferation. Embryonic and adult stem cells. (1 CFU lectures)
9) The programmed cell death: apoptosis and death signal transduction. (0.5 CFU di lectures)
10) Cell communication: receptor types and major transduction pathways. (0.5 CFU di lectures)
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is organized with frontal lessons (1) and laboratory activities (2).
1) The contents of frontal lessons are presented with the help of powerpoint presentations based on pictures from Cell biology textbooks or scientific articles and illustration of cell function with animations. Discussion in the classroom will be promoted through questions by the teacher. Periodic self-assessment tests are made available to students on the e-learning page ( of the course.
2) Laboratory activities (1 CFU, for a total of 16 hours) require the direct involvement of students and are organized according to different topics:
use of microscope, cell culture preparation and analysis, algae and aquatic plants observation, mitotic index calculation, light microscopy analysis of tissues, cell growth curve generation.
A final report will be required to the student at the end of the laboratories activities.
Additional notes about suggested reading: All course resources presented in lectures and laboratories work (ppt, articles, animations) are available to students in the course page of the e-learning platform:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Wayne M. Becker - Lewis J. Kleinsmith - Jeff Hardin - Gregory Paul Bertoni, Il mondo della cellula.. --: Edizioni Pearson, 2014. settima edizione Cerca nel catalogo
  • Ginelli E, Malcovati M, Molecole, Cellule e Organismi. --: Edises, 2016. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Laboratory
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams

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