Syllabus  Biology 441 Vertebrate Embryology  Albert Harris    Spring 2014


MWF 9-9:50 Wilson 107

Office: Room 103 Wilson Hall
Office Hours: 10-12 Mon Wed, or at other times by appointment

web sites: http://www. and

office phone 919-966-1230
home 919-493-1572

Teaching assistants: Amanda Whitlock and Taylor Penke


Textbook: Optional; Either the 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th (newest) edition of Scott Gilbert's "Developmental Biology"

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

Review questions & other material needed for exams will be on this course's web site. (No password needed)

1) Wed. Jan 8 Mammal embryo development in contrast to other vertebrates; videos; tables showing comparisons
2) Fri. Jan 10 Comparisons between development in sea urchins, fish, frogs, birds; a figure to study
3) Mon. Jan 13 Subdivision of embryos into germ layers; further subdivision, differentiation; lecture notes: videos
4) Wed. Jan 15 What are the physical forces that build anatomical structures? Not "growth;" lecture notes
5) Fri. Jan 17 Symmetry: A key concept for explaining causation of shapes; lecture notes
Mon. Jan. 20 ******* Holiday in honor of Martin Luther King ********
6) Wed. Jan. 22 Curvature, stress and stiffness are tensors: quantities that vary with direction; forces that shape anatomical structures;
more on symmetry (also added to the symmetry page from Friday); more videos have also been added.
7) Fri. Jan. 24 Sorting out by dissociated and randomly mixed cells; cell-cell adhesion proteins. lecture notes;
some things to think about (added February 9th)
8) Mon. Jan. 27 Review for first exam: first set of review questions
second set of review questions
third set of review questions
fourth set of review questions
outline and some additional notes on the topics to be covered on the exam
9) Wed. Jan. 29 snow day
10) Fri. Jan. 31 first hour exam
11) Mon. Feb. 3 Mesoderm: notochord, somites, kidneys and male sex ducts; lecture notes;
Some additional information was added to the figures showing rows of somites on Feburary 9th, and two more figures were added on February 17th.
12) Wed. Feb. 5 Lateral plate mesoderm: coelom cavity, heart, gonads, primordial germ cells.
The animations of blood vessel development shown in class and the birefringence videos have been added to the video collection
13) Fri. Feb. 7 Endoderm: thyroid, salivary glands, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas; lecture notes; another figure was added to this page March 4th.
14) Mon. Feb. 10 Stomodeum, teeth (see lecture notes for Feb. 7)
15) Wed. Feb. 12 Extraembryonic membranes and placenta; lecture notes
Some links to YouTube videos of embryonic development have also been added.
16) Fri. Feb. 14 snow day
17) Mon. Feb. 17 Twinning, regulation lecture notes
The lecture on fertilization and mechanisms that minimize polyspermy will be deferred until after the next hour exam.
18) Wed. Feb. 19 Review for second hour exam; review questions posted Feb 16th; more questions added February 18th.
lecture notes

February 20, 2 pm: Some videos showing computer simulations of chemotaxis have been added to the page with the video recordings of the lectures. If you're having trouble with this concept, these may help you study.
19) Fri. Feb. 21 second hour exam
20) Mon. Feb. 24 Blocks to polyspermy lecture notes
21) Wed. Feb. 26 Ectoderm lecture notes;
the ephrin drawing and the video of axons from Friday's lecture were added to this page March 2, 7:15 pm
22) Fri. Feb. 28 ectoderm, continued; see notes for Wednesday
23) Mon. Mar. 3 Guidance of the optic nerve to the brain: "neural projections"; feathers and hair; lecture notes
24) Wed. Mar. 5 Development of higher plants, in contrast to animals lecture notes
25) Fri. Mar. 7 Embryonic induction
26) Mon. Mar. 17 More on induction; bioassays, genetic screens, & other methods; lecture notes
27) Wed. Mar. 19 Gradients, and why embryology needs computer simulations lecture notes
28) Fri. Mar. 21 Limb bud development lecture notes
29) Mon. Mar. 24 Limb bud development, continued
  instructions for this week's labs
30) Wed. Mar. 26 What do we most need to understand about cell differentiation?
31) Fri. Mar. 28 Guest Lecture: Taylor Penke, Chromatin; lecture notes; revised Sunday morning, figures have been added
32) Mon. Mar. 31 Review for third exam; review questions; the list is now complete.
33) Wed. Apr. 2 Third hour exam
34) Fri. Apr. 4 Sex determination; lecture notes
35) Mon. Apr. 7 Metamorphosis; lecture notes
36) Wed. Apr. 9 Aging as a developmental phenomenon; lecture notes
37) Fri. Apr. 11 Regeneration; lecture notes
38) Mon. Apr. 14 Immunology and Autoimmunity have Embryological Causes; lecture notes
39) Wed. Apr. 16 Cancer in relation to embryological cell growth; lecture notes
  Good Friday Holiday  
40) Mon. Apr. 21 Cancer, continued
41) Wed. Apr. 23 "Evo-Devo" = Evolutionary Developmental Biology; lecture notes
42) Fri. Apr. 25 Review of course; lecture notes
  review questions for the last part of the course
  office hours: every afternoon this week
FINAL EXAM: Monday May 5, at 8 AM  


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