Seminar in Biology

Academic year 2021/2022
Lecturer Federico Cremisi, Alessandro Cellerino, Francesco Raimondi

Integrative teaching


Examination procedure

Oral exam


first year of Bachelor 


Module I

Mechanisms of evolution

Origin of variation.

Variation in DNA and Proteins.

Quantitative traits

Genetic drift

Population structure

Selection on variation

Interactions between evolutive forces

Measuring selection

Evolution of phenotypes


Evolution of sexual reproduction

Evolution of man

Module II

Molecular Phylogenetics

Sequence alignments

Multiple sequence alignments

Phylogenetics trees

Protein families

Conserved domains

Homology and analogy

The Tree of Life

The Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA)

Module III

Basic genetic mechanisms:

the structure and function of chromosomal DNA and its packaging in the chromatin fiber

chromatin structure and function

the global structure of chromosomes

control of gene expression

control of transcription by sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins

transcription regulators switch genes on and off

molecular genetic mechanisms that create and maintain specialized cell types

mechanisms that reinforce cell memory in plants and animals

post-transcriptional controls

regulation of gene expression by noncoding RNAs

Analyzing cells, molecules and systems:

isolating cells and growing them in culture

purifying proteins

analyzing proteins

analyzing and manipulating DNA

studying gene expression and function


Bibliographical references

-Evolution Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press

-Molecular Bilogy of the Cell - Garland Science, sixth edition, ISBN 978-0-8153-4464-3