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Course code:






Degree program:

Course in Medical Biotechnologies









Comprehensive course:

Functional Genomics

Academic year:



Course objectives

The aim of this course is to learn most recent data on non-coding elements in the genome and in mammalian transcriptome. Specifically, the course will focus on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) their structure and functions. Moreover, the students will know about antisense transcription, its main features and its function in the cell. Examples will be provided on possible therapeutic applications of lncRNAs. An additional aim of the course is the discussion of a recent published paper focusing on recently discovered lncRNA and its function. Experimental details will be discussed.


Knowledge and skills expectations

The students must have a solid background in Molecular Biology, Genetics and Cell Biology


Course program

  • Complexity of the human genome and role of non-coding elements in contributing to genome complexity
  • Definition of mammalian transcriptome and history of the discovery of lncRNAs
  • Features of lncRNAs in comparison with those of protein-coding mRNAs
  • Description of the experimental procedures used to discover lncRNA features
  • Antisense transcription
  • Description of lncRNA functions
  • Therapeutic applications of lncRNAs: present and future prospects
  • Seminar-type discussion on a newly discovered lncRNA: features and function (experimental details will also be discussed)


Practical training



Optional activities

Inputs from the professor on bibliographic search in the field of lncRNAs.


Course materials

The students receive copy of PDF files of scientific papers discussed in the course.


Required texbooks / Bibliographic resources

No textbook. Students will study on the scientific papers discussed during the classes and made available from the professor.


Methods of evaluation

The final exam for the comprehensive course will consist in a written exam including all the three subjects of the course, namely Genomic Analysis, Regulation of gene expression and Genetics. For each subjects there will be four statements requiring the answer true/false and eventually a brief comment of maximum 10 lines.

The maximum time allowed will be 90 minutes.

The results will be given within three-four days and if the student wishes to increase the grade he/she can do an oral exam.

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