Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2023/2024 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Lucia Anna Maria Potenza Tuesday 11-13
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Industrial Pharmacy (LM-13)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

-to learn more on genome and the mechanisms that regulate its activity in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; to introduce the main techniques used in the laboratory to manipulate nucleic acid for practical application in medical, pharmaceutical, industrial and vegetable field.

-To introduce the techniques and strategies most used in the laboratory to manipulate nucleic acids for practical applications in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, industrial, and plant fields. The specific objective of the practical laboratory exercises is to provide students with the practical skills of the main basic molecular biology techniques and to make them acquire the knowledge for a correct analysis of the experimental results.



DNA: primary, secondary and tertiary structure. DNA conformations.

Chromatin, Genes and Genomes: DNA anatomy and physical structure in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The Human Genome Project. The mithocondrial genome.

Genome Replication:The semiconservative model. The  replication fork and associated proteins. DNA polymerase. The telomere mainteinance.

Ripair and Recombination: Mutation types and their effects. Repair mechanisms of single base changes, structural distortions and double stranded breaks.

RNA: Genetic code.

Transcription: Transcription molecular mechanisms in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; initiation, elongation and termination; RNA polymerases.

Eukaryotic RNA processing and maturation: Capping, polyadenilation and splicing; Alternative splicing; Trans-splicing; RNA editing.

Translation: Ribosome structure and assembly; Amynoacil -tRNA synthetases;Translation mechanism: initiation, elongation and termination;translation and post-translation control.

Regulation of prokaryotic gene expression: lac and trp operons.

DNA recombinant DNA technology and molecular cloning: Restriction Enzymes, lygases and plasmids in molecular cloning. Cell transformation. DNA libreries; Probes; Library screening; expression libreries: Recombinant drugs: Insulin and growth hormone; Recombinant vaccines. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLPs).

Genetic Modified Organisms: use in basic and applied research


1- techniques and tools used in molecular biology laboratories 
The molecular biology laboratory: equipment and instrumentation. Stock solutions and related dilutions. Use of automatic pipettes for small volumes and simulation of reactions. 
2- plasmids
Definition of plasmid. Plasmid DNA extraction by commercial kit. Quantification by UV spectrophotometry

3- electrophoresis on agarose gel 
sample preparation for electrophoretic running and analysis

4-restriction enzymes
Characteristics and use. Preparation of digestion reactions on extracted plasmids and electrophoretic analysis

5- Polymerase Chain Reaction 
Principle of PCR. Preparation of reactions for the amplification of fragments from plasmid DNA extracted in the previous exercise 

Bridging Courses

No bridging course is required. Students are strongly advised to follow the sequence of exams present in the study plan.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and ability of comprehension: The student must have acquired knowledge relating to the structure of nucleic acids and the processes associated with them, including replication, repair, transcription, translation. These acquisitions will allow learning the recombinant DNA technology for the manipulation of nucleic acids, the production of recombinant drugs, vaccines or diagnostic tests for genetic, bacterial, and viral diseases.

Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension: The student must demonstrate to be able to establish a correlation between biological structure and function and to link the different studied topics.

Autonomy of judgment: The student must demonstrate to be able to critically evaluate the information received.

Communication skills: The student must demonstrate the ability to communicate the acquired knowledge to their colleagues and superiors

Learning skill: The student must demonstrate to have developed good learning skills, enabling them to deepen the knowledge gained during the course by addressing subsequent study paths.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


frontal lessons and Laboratories

Attendance of  the frontal lessons is advisable as well as  of the laboratories 


Students should have acquired the knowledge of cell biology

Course books

Francesco Amaldi, Piero Benedetti, Graziano Pesole, Paolo Plevani: Biologia Molecolare Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

Benijamin Lewin, Jocelyn E Krebs, Elliot Goldstein, Stephen T Kilpatrick: il gene X Casa Editrice Zanichelli


The student evaluation will take place through a written verification of the knowledge and skills acquired during the practical part and a final oral examination. The final grade will be given by the sum of the two parts (max 30 laude/30). The final evaluation will take into account the level of knowledge of the contents as well as the expository and reasoning skills demonstrated in the discussion conducted on the required topics. To this the contribution of the laboratory test.  must be added

Disabilità e DSA

Le studentesse e gli studenti che hanno registrato la certificazione di disabilità o la certificazione di DSA presso l'Ufficio Inclusione e diritto allo studio, possono chiedere di utilizzare le mappe concettuali (per parole chiave) durante la prova di esame.

A tal fine, è necessario inviare le mappe, due settimane prima dell’appello di esame, alla o al docente del corso, che ne verificherà la coerenza con le indicazioni delle linee guida di ateneo e potrà chiederne la modifica.

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