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CODE 98802
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR BIO/11
LANGUAGE English
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The course deals with leading edge molecular biology principles and techniques and their application in biomedical research. The course will extensively review the genetic and epigenetic control of gene expression and will show how the transcriptomics and genomics data changed our understanding of these key aspects. The course will focus as well on the experimental methods that the biotechnological and biomedical research are currently developing to address these topics.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The objective of the course is to deepen the molecular biology basic knowledge tackling in detail the functional mechanisms of nuclear biomolecular processes. Furthermore, students will develop methodological instruments to be able to face molecular biology challenges in applied research.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The aim of the course is to teach the students the bases of epigenetics tackling in detail the functional mechanisms of nuclear biomolecular processes in the cell nucleus and the role of RNAs, both in the nucleus and outside of it, in the regulation of gene expression. Furthermore, the course aims to teach cutting-edge techniques in the field of molecular biology as up to date molecular cloning methods and the next generation sequencing technology.

In the practical part, students will learn how to use the Gibson Assembly cloning technique and the modern biomolecular instruments for Nanopore sequencing and will learn how to handle teh data obtained from the sequencing.

At the end of the course, students will be able to choose, plan, and use the most cutting-edge techniques and technologies of molecular biology to address specific questions in basic and applied biotechnological research

TEACHING METHODS

There will be classes for the theoretical part of the course and experimental and bioinformatic laboratories for the practical part. Students will be involved in discussions throughout the course to evaluate their level of knowledge and understanding of the topics treated during the lessons, and they will be required to prepare and discuss a presentation in English on a topic of interest that will be decided during the course.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The topics of the course (both theoretical and practical) will be the following:

The structure and significance of gene regulatory elements

Structural and functional organization of chromatin in the cell nucleus

Chromatin modification and remodeling processes

Epigenetic control of gene expression by DNA methylation and acetylation, methylation, ADP-rybosilation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination/sumoylation of histones

Classification, roles and significance of non coding RNAs (long non coding and micro)

The induced pluripotent stem cells as a paradigm of catastrophic epigenetic reprogramming of the somatic cell

History and modern development of genome editing tools: meganucleases, zinc finger nucleases, TALE nucleases, CRISPR/CAS nucleases

At the end of the first part of the course (12 lessons) students will be requested to prepare a presentation on a freely chosen topic of interest discussed during the classes.

Molecular cloning methods: Gibson Assembly; Golden Gate/MoClo; BioBrick Assembly

Next generation sequencing: Sequencing-by-synthesis; Sequencing by ligation (SOLiD sequencing); Nanopore Sequencing;

NGS Library preparation: Exome sequencing; targeted genome sequencing; RNAseq

Single cell sequencing (10X genomics)

Topics of the experimental laboratories:

Preparation of a sgRNA library for CRISPR/Cas9 screenings via Gibson Assembly

Sequencing of the library via nanopore sequencing

Analysis of sequencing results

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

There are no specific texts, the program to be studied is contained in the lesson slides which can be downloaded from aulaweb.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

First semester, first week of october

For details consult the following link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

There will be an oral discussion on the themes treated during the frontal lessons with the teachers. Part of the final mark will derive from an oral (english) presentation students will be required to produce by discussing and deepening a topic treated during the theoretical lessons.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The preparation of the students and the skills developed during the course will be assessed by the teachers by demonstration of acquisition of problem-solving skills in advanced biomolecular research by answering to specific questions posed, dealing with both practical and theoretical problems/topics. Their level of knowledge and understanding will also be tested by an oral presentation for each student tackling a theme of interest picked among the topics treated during the theoretical lessons.

Any Student with documented Specific Learning Disorders (SLD), or with any special needs, shall reach out to the Lecturer(s) and to the dedicated SLD Representative in the Department before class begins, in order to liase and arrange the specific teaching methods and ensure proper achievement of the learning aims and outcomes.