Syllabus  Biology 441 Vertebrate Embryology  Albert Harris    Spring 2013

MWF 9-9:50 Wilson 107

Office Room 103 Wilson Hall
office phone 966-1230
home 919-493-1572

Teaching assistants: Marta Charpentier and Kerry Dorr


Textbook: "Principles of Development" Lewis Wolpert and Cheryll Tickle Fourth Edition, Oxford U. Press
(This book is so expensive, you might consider buying either the second or third edition of Wolpert, instead.)  


The Biology 441 lab is NOT required for students taking the lecture course. It is a separate 1-hour course.

1) Wed. Jan 9 What happens as a mammal embryo develops? With a time-lapse video [lecture notes]
2) Fri. Jan 11 Development of sea urchin embryos (read textbook chapter 6, pages 233-243) [lecture notes]
3) Mon. Jan 14 Embryonic development compared in amphibians, birds, & mammals (pp. 100-113);
[diagram showing comparisons; some summary tables ].
  Two errors in the tables have now been corrected (1/28/13). Thanks to the very alert students who caught these!
  first set of review questions
4) Wed. Jan 16 Extraembryonic membranes; & how identical twinning occurs in humans [lecture notes]
5) Fri. Jan 18 Teleost fist embryology, in comparison with other vertebrates. (Chapter 3) [lecture notes on cell differentiation]
Mon. Jan. 21 ******* Holiday in honor of Martin Luther King ********
6) Wed. Jan. 23 Subdivision into ectoderm, mesoderm & endoderm (Chapter 4)
7) Fri. Jan. 25 History & key concepts: preformationism, surgical experiments; Paradoxes (Chapter 1)
[table on yolk amounts]
8) Mon. Jan. 28 Molecular biology of embryos; genetic screens; families of genes in Drosophila embryos (Chapter 2)
Regulative development [lecture notes]
9) Wed. Jan. 30 Alternative theories: "Positional Information", "Reaction-diffusion, "Mechanochemical" (Chapters 3 and 4   ??);
[notes on Spemann and Pröschold, and division of germ layers]
[more on Driesch, Roux, and regulative development]
  vocabulary review
  thinking about causation
10) Fri. Feb. 1 Review for first exam
  I read all the review questions in the textbook, looking for suitable questions. There are very few.
By the end of the course, you will know most of them. For this exam, I expect you to be able
to answer only the multiple choice question #3 for chapter 3, and #1 and #5 for chapter 4.
And none of the essay questions for any chapter, and none of any questions on the lists for chapters 1 and 2.
  More Review! [posted 10:40 a.m. and updated 1:34 pm on Thursday]
  List of textbook figures that you should study [posted 1:20 pm. Thursday]
11) Mon. Feb. 4 First hour exam
12) Wed. Feb. 6 Physical forces that cause anatomical shapes, and "growth" (Chapter 8)
[lecture notes; previous file replaced with more extensive notes February 11, 7:15 am]
  some videos showing cells exerting traction forces [posted Feb 12]
13) Fri. Feb. 8 Symmetry as a unifying concept for all kinds of shape formation. Curie's Principle.
[lecture notes; more material added Feb 9th, 4:30 pm]
14) Mon. Feb. 11 Notochord formation; Somite formation & subdivision (Chapter 5: pages 173-214)
[lecture notes; posted Feb. 11]
15) Wed. Feb. 13 Cartilage, bone and skeletal muscle development: Epiphyses; ossification, osteoporosis
16) Fri. Feb. 15 Intermediate mesoderm; 3 pairs of kidneys; and male sex ducts
[lecture notes; posted Feb. 14]
[some new illustrations were added Feb. 18]
17) Mon. Feb. 18 Lateral plate mesoderm; coelom; Germinal ridges; primordial germ cells; uterus development, heart development.
Changes in route of blood flow at birth in mammals.
18) Wed. Feb. 20 Subdivision of ectoderm: neural tube, neural crest, epidermis
  review questions for second exam [posted Feb 21, 2:30 pm]
  second group of review questions [posted Feb 21, 6:15 pm]
  third group of review questions [posted Feb 21, 7:15 pm]
  fourth group of review questions [posted Feb 21, 7:25 pm]
[includes material that will be covered in the next two lectures]
  [Feb 25, 6:45 pm: some questions have been greyed out on the review lists, either because they were on topics covered on the first exam, or have not been covered yet; this was changed to strike-through on Feb 27, 10:30 am.]
19) Fri. Feb. 22 Otic Placode, lens placode, otic placode (inner ear), lateral line
20) Mon. Feb. 25 Retina, connection of optic nerve to the brain; ephrin gradients (Chapter 12)
  lecture notes on development of the ovary and testes, and ephrins [posted Feb 24, 6:30 pm]
21) Wed. Feb. 27 Review for second exam
22) Fri. Mar. 1 Second hour exam
  lecture notes on cartilage and bone [posted March 1st, 4 pm]
23) Mon. Mar. 4 Stomodeal and endodermal development; teeth; intestine; cloaca
  [lecture notes on nerves; posted March 3rd; some additional notes on ephrins posted March 6th]
24) Wed. Mar. 6 Salivary glands, pancreas, liver development
  [lecture notes on formation of the eye, ear, olfactory organs; posted March 5th]
25) Fri. Mar. 8 Head and facial structures [ more on placodes, neural crest ectoderm, endoderm; posted March 7th, 6:30 pm]
26) Mon. Mar. 18 Contrast of plant development to mammal embryology (Chapter 7)
[plant development]
27) Wed. Mar. 20 Limb bud development; Apical Ectodermal Ridge; Posterior necrotic zone (Chapter 11)
[how mechanical forces cause geometric shapes
updated March 21 8:30 pm - more illustrations and some new text at the end]
28) Fri. Mar. 22 Limb bud development continued
29) Mon. Mar. 25 Hox genes, homeotic mutations and the great question of colinearity
[ Limb bud development]
30) Wed. Mar. 27 Embryological evidence of which reptiles evolved into birds
[ generation of spatial patterns]
Fri. Mar. 29 Good Friday Holiday
31) Mon. Apr. 1 lecture notes on apoptosis, pattern generation, and regeneration
more on apoptosis
  review questions for third exam [posted April 3, 8:20 am; more added April 4, 11:55 am and more yet at 4:30 pm
  If you're interested in organizing a study group (soon!) for the next hour exam, or if you already have one that could accommodate additional students, please contact us immediately [posted April 3, 10:00 am]
32) Wed. Apr. 3 Formation of tubular structures.
lecture notes [some illustrations and videos have been added Thursday afternoon, 4 pm]
33) Fri. Apr. 5 Review for third exam
34) Mon. Apr. 8 Third hour exam
35) Wed. Apr. 10 Sex determination (How embryos are caused to become make or female)
lecture notes on sex determination
36) Fri. Apr. 12 Cell differentiation, stability of cell types, stem cells (chapter 10)
lecture notes on cell differentiation
37) Mon. Apr. 15 Regeneration: part cell differentiation, part cell rearrangement (Chapter 14)
notes on regeneration (more was added to this page on April 16th)
38) Wed. Apr. 17 Metamorphosis (Chapter 13: pages 505-534)
lecture notes on metamorphosis
39) Fri. Apr. 19 Cancer: A breakdown of embryological mechanisms (Chapter 15: pages 556-585
lecture notes
40) Mon. Apr. 22 Development of the immune system; (Chapter 15: pages 556-585)
lecture notes
41) Wed. Apr. 24 Birth defects
lecture notes
42) Fri. Apr. 26 Evolution and Development
lecture notes
  review questions for third exam
  Office hours this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, approximately 11 am until at least 3 pm
Monday May 6 8:00 A.M.!   FINAL EXAMINATION (which includes all parts of this course)  

 The system for calculating numerical grades is that each of the three hour exam counts 20%, and the final exam counts 40%, OR ALTERNATIVELY, you can drop your lowest hour exam grade, count each of the other hour exams 25%, and count the final exam 50%, whichever alternative calculation gives you the best grade.


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