First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SC02100882, 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
SC1161, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination CELL BIOLOGY AND HISTOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
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 ELENA REDDI BIO/06
Other lecturers FRANCESCA MORET BIO/06

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/06 Comparative Anatomy and Citology 8.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 2
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Prerequisites: General chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry of biological molecules and macromolecules
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge on: a) the morphological and functional aspects of the cell, as a constitutive unit of all living organisms, and b) its organization in the formation of tissues in animal organisms. In particular, students will acquire knowledge on:
1. Morphology and internal organization of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
2. Organization and function of the eukaryotic cell compartments
3. Basic processes that allow cell growth and proliferation
4. Organization and cellular interactions in animal tissues
5. Recognition of animal tissues in histological preparations analyzed by optical microscopy
Examination methods: The assessment of acquired knowledge takes place through a practical test and an oral exam. The practical test verifies the learning of the laboratory activities of histology. The written exam consists of six open questions related to the topics covered during the lectures. It is reiterated that, as dictated by the regulations of the Degree Program, attendance at lectures and exercises for admission to the assessment tests is mandatory.
Assessment criteria: The assessment is based on the student's ability to describe with appropriate terminology and discuss topics covered during lectures or exercises in addition to the clear acquisition of knowledge of teaching contents.
Course unit contents: 1. Introductory part (0.5 CFU)
Origin and evolution of cells. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell. Model organisms of cell biology. Chemical components of cells.
2. Basic genetic mechanisms (1 CFU)
The organization of the genome. The double helix DNA. Chromatin, chromosomes and levels of organization. DNA replication. Transcription and translation of DNA.
3. Cell membranes (1 CFU)
Chemical components of membranes and their interactions. Transport of biomolecules through the membrane. Passive and active transporters. Channel proteins and membrane potential.
4. Compartments / organelles of the eukaryotic cell (1 CFU)
Sorting of proteins between the various cellular compartments. The nucleus. The system of internal cell membranes: endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and lysosomes. Vesicular transport. Endocytosis and exocytosis. Mitochondria and ATP production.
5. The cytoskeleton (0.5 CFU)
Microtubules, intermediate filaments and microfilaments. Functions of cytoskeleton elements
6. Cell communication (0.5 CFU)
Signal molecules. Receptors and signal transduction pathways. Receptors associated with G proteins and enzyme-associated receptors. Examples of intracellular signaling pathways present in many cell types.
7. Proliferation and cell death (1 CFU)
The cell cycle: phases, regulation and control points. Cell proliferation and programmed cell death and control mechanisms. Cell division. Mitosis and cytokinesis. Meiosis and gamete formation. Fertilization.
8. Histology (1.5 CFU)
Organization of cells in tissues. The extracellular matrix. Cellular junctions. Basic types of tissue in animal organisms: nervous, epithelial, connective, muscular. Coating and glandular epithelia. Properly called and specialized connective tissue (adipose, cartilage, bone, blood). Skeletal muscle tissue, cardiac and smooth. Cellular renewal in tissues.

9. Laboratory of microscopy and histology (1 CFU)
Use of an optical microscope and preparation of microscopy slides. Guided analysis of histological preparations to learn how to recognize different types of tissues by optical microscopy. Demonstrations of image acquisition with transmission electron microscope to allow the student to know this technique for the study of cellular ultrastructures.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course includes 56 hours (7 CFU) of lectures and 16 hours (1 CFU) of optical microscopy and histology laboratory. During the lectures, ppt presentations are used with figures, diagrams and illustrations to facilitate the understanding of topics as well as videos and animations. During the lessons, the students are involved in the discussion whenever the topics being discussed are interconnected with other topics previously discussed in the same or other lessons. During the laboratory activities, the students are divided into groups for which their involvement is easier.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The ppt presentations used to illustrate the topics of histology are made available to students by uploading them to the Moodle platform of the Department of Biology.
A list of cell biology texts is provided from which the student can choose a text for personal study.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Alberts et al., L'essenziale di Biologia molecolare della cellula. --: zanichelli, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Cooper e Hausman, La Cellula. Un approccio molecolare. --: Piccin, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Karp, Biologia cellulare e molecolare. --: Edises, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Becker et al, Il mondo della cellula. --: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Wolfe, Introduzione alla biologia cellulare e molecolare. --: Edises, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Di Pietro R., Elementi di istologia. --: Edises, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Dalle Donne et al, Istologia ed elementi di anatomia microscopica. --: Edises, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Mescher A.L., Junqueira - Istologia Testo atlante. --: Piccin, --. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Questioning
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

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

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education Gender Equality Reduced Inequalities