1. Cellular Functions
- The biological meaning of the cellular nutrition, reproduction and interaction.
- Cellular nutrition (I): membrane transport of substances.
- Cellular nutrition (II): enzymes.
- Cellular nutrition (III): the metabolism; anabolism and catabolism in autotrophic and heterotrophic beings.
- Cellular reproduction (I): the cell nucleus: DNA, chromatin, chromosomes; haploid and diploid cells.
- Cellular reproduction (II): the cell cycle.
- Cellular reproduction (III): cancer.
- Cellular reproduction (IV): the stages of mitosis; its meaning and role in eukaryotic cells.
- Cellular reproduction (V): meiosis: main events; its meaning and role in eukaryotes' gametogenesis.
- Cellular interaction: biological meaning and examples in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
2. Heredity and Transmission
- Mendelian inheritance. Dominance, codominance and incomplete dominance.
- The Chromosomal Theory of Inheritance. Chromosomes, loci and alleles.
- The inheritance of sex. Heredity linked to sex; some common diseases.
- Polygenic and polyallelic inheritance.
- Mutations. Causes, types and results.
- The Human Genome Project: benefits and concerns.
- Genetic testing: basic techniques, benefits and concerns.
- Genetic manipulation. Basic techniques. Most significant current applications (GM food, gene therapy): benefits and concerns.
- Cloning. Nuclear transfer. Benefits and concerns.
- Stem cells: basic techniques, benefits and concerns.
3. The Evolution of Living Matter
- Ideas on the origin and transmutation of species across time. The advent of the evolutionary thought (common descent and transmutation of species).
- Signs of evolution: adaptive radiation, adaptive convergence, fossil series, geographical distribution of fossils, biochemical similarities.
- Lamarck's mechanism of evolutionary change.
- Darwin and Wallace's mechanism of evolutionary change: evolution by natural selection driven by the environment.
- Genetics and evolution: mutation, recombination, natural selection of alleles and genetic drift.
- Evolution by natural selection in action: some examples.
- Main outcomes of the evolution by natural selection: adaptation, extinction, coevolution and speciation.
4. Natural History of the Earth
- Fossils: types, occurrence, significance.
- Historical ideas on the age of the Earth. Principles and procedures that enable to reconstruct the History of the Earth. Relative and absolute dating techniques.
- The geologic time. Main geochronologic units.
- Main geological and biological events along the history of the Earth.
- The evolution of the human lineage.
5. Plant Physiology
- Plant nutrition: absorption and transport of nutrients, transpiration, photosynthesis, respiration.
- Plant reproduction: the flower, pollination, fertilization, seed dispersal, germination.
- Plant interaction: plant hormones and growth.
6. Dynamics of Ecosystems
- Ecosystems: concept, components. The Ecosphere.
- Ecological factors; conditions and resources. Limiting factors. Tolerance curves. Ecological niche. Habitat.
- Ecological factors in land ecosystems.
- Ecological factors in aquatic ecosystems.
- Ecological succession.
- Biotic interactions: intraspecific and interspecific interactions.
- Population growth. Positive and negative feedback in the interspecific interactions. Plagues and their control.
- Feeding interactions: flow of energy and matter in the ecosystems; producers, consumers and decomposers; food chains and food webs; trophic pyramids.
- Biogeochemical cycles.
- Atmospheric pollution: the greenhouse effect and the global warming; the slimming of the ozone layer; acid precipitations.
- Water consumption: water treatment and sewage treatment.
- Water pollution: fertilisers, industrial pollutants, thermal pollution.
- Other major human influences in the ecosystems.
7. The Earth's Internal Energy
- The internal heat of the Earth as the cause behind the internal geomorphological changes.
- Basic internal geomorphological processes: volcanism and seismicity: elements and main features.
- The Continental Drift theory.
- The tectonic plates: concept, movement, types and main plates.
- Divergent tectonic boundaries: causes, occurrence, examples and geological features.
- Convergent tectonic boundaries: types, causes, occurrence, examples and geological features.
- Transform tectonic boundaries: causes, occurrence, examples and geological features.
- Igneous rocks.
- Metamorphic rocks.
- Geological risks related to the internal activity of the Earth: risk areas; preventing and measuring earthquakes.
8. The Earth's External Energy
- The external geomorphological changes vs. the internal geomorphological changes: paces and examples.
- The Sun and the gravity as the causes behind the external geomorphological agents. The water cycle as an example.
- The external geomorphological processes: weathering, erosion, transport and sedimentation.
- Chemical weathering.
- Geomorphological action of the changes of temperature. Freeze-thaw weathering.
- Geomorphological action of the wind. Occurrence, aeolian landscapes.
- Geomorphological action of the superficial continental waters. Types of superficial continental bodies. The geomorphological processes in the sections of a river. Glacial vs. fluvial landscapes.
- Geomorphological action of the subterranean continental waters. Karstic landscapes.
- Geomorphological action of the sea. Seawater movements. Landscapes carved by the sea movements.
- The formation of soils.
- The formation of sedimentary rocks. Strata.