The aim of this course is that the students acquire essential knowledge on biology, at the molecular and cellular levels. The students will know the molecular composition of the cell, and the cellular function of the different macromolecules; in addition, they will learn about the different cellular organelles and will be able to relate their structure to the fulfilled function. The students will also come in contact with the potential of novel cellular therapies, for example involving stem cells. It is expected that the students will understand the molecular bases of the hereditary succession, and that they understand the flow of genetic information from genes to proteins and cells; in addition, the mechanisms that regulate gene expression will be explores. Finally, the students will learn the principles that underlie recombinant DNA technology, genomics and the possibility to create genetically modified animals.
1. The cell: basic life unit
a) Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
b) Methods in cell biology
c) Cellular organization: Information processing organelles; The endomembrane system; Energy processing organlles; Cell shape and movement; Cell surfaces and junctions.
d) Basic principles of stem cell technology and regenerative medicine.
2. Cell communication and homeostasis
a) Cell communication
b) Cellular receptors
c) Second messengers
d) Regulation by hormones
e) Cell homeostasis
f) The cell cycle
3. Information pathways and inheritance
a) The molecular basis of inheritance: genes and chromosomes
b) The organization of eukaryotic genomes; the human genome; the structure of DNA
c) DNA replication and repair
d) From gene to protein
e) Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression
f) DNA technology: DNA cloning and sequencing; genomics; genetically-modified models.
Basic knowledge on chemistry, biology and mathematics
Generic skills to reach
. Competence in analysis and synthesis; . Competence in oral and written communication; . Critical thinking; . Competence in autonomous learning; . Competence in applying theoretical knowledge in practice; . Knowledge of a foreign language; . Competence for working in group; . Quality concerns; . Self-criticism and self-evaluation; . Research skills; (by decreasing order of importance)
Teaching hours per semester
total of teaching hours
Sseminar or study visit
Laboratory or field work
Synthesis work thesis
Bibliography of reference
David Sadava, H. Craig Heller, Gordon H. Orians, and William K. Purves (2009). Life-The Science of Biology, W.H. Freeman and Company. (9ª Edição)
Campbell, N & Reece, J. (2009) Biology, Pearson Education (8ª Edição)
Clark, DP & Pazdernik, NJ (2012) Molecular Biology, Academic Cell Press (2ª Edição).
Azevedo C & Sunkel C (2012) Biologia Celular e Molecular, Lidel.
Alberts et al. (2008), Molecular Biology of the Cell, Garland Science(5ª Edição)
The teaching methodologies combine
1) Lectures in which the concepts are presented when possible on the basis of the original experimental evidence that supports them;
2) Laboratory work. For these classes, the students are encouraged to work autonomously, and are asked to prepare solutions and the biologic material, to collect data and to interpret data on their own.
Um Laboratório de Biologia bem equipado (com espectofotómetros, sistema de electrofose, sistema de aquisição de imagem, computadores, leitor de ELISA, etc). Um local com as condições necessárias para apresentações dos alunos.