AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
Regular attendance to the lectures will allow students to acquire basic knowledge to understand the interactions between organisms living in different environments and chemicals released by human activities, how these contaminants can be taken up, accumulated or eliminated, depending on the physiology of the organism, leading to adverse effects and thus representing a potential risk for environmental and human health.
Students will be also introduced to the experimental methods to evaluate the biological effects of chemicals, alone or in mixtures, utilizing model species representative of different environment and/or trophic levels, or human and rodent cell models, in in vitro, in vivo and micro- meso-cosm systems.
They will acquire the concepts of dose-response relationship, acute and chronic exposure, and the methodological criteria to evaluate the effects of chemicals in controlled experimental systems.
Students will also learn on which basis the main ecotoxicological tests on models of aquatic and terrestrial organisms (form bacteria to fish) and toxicological test in mammalian cell lines have been developed, and how these are carried out according to standardized and validated international protocols in order to utilize the obtained data as a basis for risk assessment for environmental and human health.
Structure and function of natural ecosystems. Interactions between living organisms and the surrounding environment: abiotic and biotic factors. Anthropogenic activities and release of chemicals in the environment. Contamiannts and their interactions with different components of the ecosystem. Main classes of persistent pollutants (POPs). Emerging contaminants.
Interactions of contaminants with aquatic and terrestrial organisms: retrospective and predictive aspects. Bioavailability of contaminants. Role of physiological processes in the fate of contaminants within the organism: uptake, distribution, metabolism and excretion. Target tissues. Lethal, sub-lethal, acute and chronic effects. Bioassays and ecotoxicological assays: dose-response relationships, monotonic and non monotonic. In vitro and in vivo systems, micro and mesocosms. Application of bioassays and ecotox assays to evaluate the biological impact of contaminants alone, in mixtures, and of extracts form environmental matrices (water, sediments, soils). Mammalian cell cultures and fish embryonic stages as alternative models for animal studies. Utilization of data for a preliminary investigation of biological risk.
Ecotoxicologial assays: introductory remarks and description of main validated ecotoxicological assays in models of aquatic and terrestrial organisms (bacteria, alge, invertebrates, fish). Applications within within the international and national laws.
All teaching materials will be given to the students at the end of the course; part of it (scientific papers, ppt presentations, guidelines) will be available on Aulaweb.
Ricevimento: Direct contact with the teacher by e-mail
LAURA CANESI (President)
LAURA VERGANI (President)