BIOS E-55 Developmental Biology
Spring Term 2017 CRN 22959
Developmental biology studies the mechanisms involved in the development of complex organisms from the moment the egg is fertilized by a sperm. In many ways the basic understanding of developmental biology provides an invaluable foundation for other aspects of biology, as well as medicine, especially as many health issues can be related back to early developmental defects during embryogenesis. This course aims to provide a broad, comprehensive look at embryology with special emphasis on vertebrate models. We take a look at primary data that led to our current understanding of mechanisms involved in development and discuss classic experiments as well as more modern molecular and genetic approaches to answer questions in developmental biology. Over the length of the course we explore how the egg gets fertilized in the first place and subsequently travel the journey of the developing embryo: growing, forming organs, determining gender, making germ cells, and much more. We also talk about the role of embryonic and adult stem cells, the effects of the environment on development, and many more fascinating aspects of developmental biology.