In this course, the student will learn about the field of developmental biology from its origins to the present day. The course will take a look at historical experiments as well as modern techniques and the mechanisms of development. The student will follow a variety of metazoan organisms from their start at fertilization through the stages of their development and on to entire organismal and post-embryonic development, learning along the way about the molecular and genetic regulations involved in these processes. (Biology 310)
Study of the molecular mechanisms that regulate development from the zygote to the whole organism in vertebrate and invertebrate animal models.
Embryo, when applied to mammals, is the term given to the developing organism from fertilisation to birth. Developmental biology, or embryology, is the study of the embryo as it transforms from a unicellular zygote to a multicellular, mulitsystemed organism which in some cases is ready to function autonomously at birth. Developmental biology is of interest to vets in understanding why organs and systems are the way they are, but also in understanding genetic diseases and applying cell based therapies to treat loss or damage to tissues.
The fields of Development and Evolution cannot be truly separated. When we study Developmental Biology we are mostly looking at a fine-tuned mechanical and genetic process that has been selected on for eons. Not only can evolution select on the final product - a working, fertile adult - but also can act at each developmental stage. It is easy to see how evolution acts through natural selection on adults, but how can it act on development itself?
1: Introduction to Evolutionary Developmental Biology (EvoDevo)
2: Fertilization and Cortical Rotation
3: Cleavage and Gastrulation
4: Genetic Toolkit
5: Regionalization and Organizers
6: Genetic Basis of Complexity
9: Evolvability and Plasticity
10: Case Studies
The MIT Biology Department core courses, 7.012, 7.013, and 7.014, all cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology. 7.013 focuses on the application of the fundamental principles toward an understanding of human biology. Topics include genetics, cell biology, molecular biology, disease (infectious agents, inherited diseases and cancer), developmental biology, neurobiology and evolution.Biological function at the molecular level is particularly emphasized in all courses and covers the structure and regulation of genes, as well as, the structure and synthesis of proteins, how these molecules are integrated into cells, and how these cells are integrated into multicellular systems and organisms. In addition, each version of the subject has its own distinctive material.