During the past decade several experimental methodologies were developed allowing for the study of the brain processes and of the information processing in the central nervous system. In the near future sensors, micro and nano-tecnhological instrumentation and signal processing algorithms for Neurosciences will have to be developed. Stem cell and neural systems' engineering will also have a great impact. The objectives of this course are to allow for a close contact of the students with the lab techniques on biology and molecular biology that give insight on the working of the nervous system cell's. Some of the techniques discussed in this unit are state of the art in Neurosciences.
How to plan a scientific research project
Ethics and animal experimenting; alternativ models to animal experimenting
Biological models in Neurobiology: subcellular fractions; cell, tissue, and brain slices' cultures.
Tools and strategies in the study of cellular signalling: antibody production; protein purification and analysis of its expression
Forced expression and silencing of proteins's techniques: gene expression; interference with their produce; transgenic animals
Microscopy: equipments; tissue processing; cell function visualisation; fluorescent scopes; antibodies
Animal behaviour: motor activity; sensorial function; learning and memory; social interaction; anxiety and depression
Brain imaging; structural and functional imaging
Development of technology and intellectual property protection
Technological or support project for the elderly; active and healthy ageing
Neurobiology I; Neuropharmacology
Generic skills to reach
. Competence in analysis and synthesis; . Competence in oral and written communication; . Competence for working in group; . Critical thinking; . Creativity; . Competence in organization and planning; . Knowledge of a foreign language; . Using the internet as a communication medium and information source; . Competence in understanding the language of other specialists; . Competence in autonomous learning; (by decreasing order of importance)
Teaching hours per semester
total of teaching hours
Bibliography of reference
Carter M, Shieh J Guide to Research techniques in neuroscience Elsevier, Academic Press, 2010
Malva J, Rego AC, Cunha RA, Oliveira CR Interaction Between Neurons and Glia in Aging and Disease, Springer, New York, 2007
Theoretical teaching based on classes and seminars.
Practical teaching will supply skills and self-learning strategies in order to allow the students to elaborate a project on the development of an innovative product with potential application in an enterprise environment.