Syllabus  Biology 441 Vertebrate Embryology  Albert Harris    Spring 2019

MWF 9:05-9:55 Wilson 107

Office: Room 103 Wilson Hall
Office Hours: 10-12 Monday and Wednesday, or at other times by appointment

web sites: http://www. and

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

Teaching assistants: Kayla Goforth and Elizabeth Moore


No textbook is required.

Lecture notes, videos, review questions, and other material needed for exams will be posted on this web site throughout the semester.
Please check it frequently for updates.

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

exams and grading

1) Wed. Jan 9 Mammal Embryology in Contrast with Sea Urchin Embryology
lecture notes
2) Friday Jan 11 Subdivision of Vertebrate Embryos into Ectoderm, Mesoderm & Endoderm
lecture notes
3) Monday Jan 14 Morphogenetic Movements and Shape Formation
lecture notes
4) Wednesday Jan 16 Amoeboid locomotion, Electro-osmosis and Fluid-filled Spaces
lecture notes
5) Friday Jan 18 Gastrulation and Extra-Embryonic Membranes
lecture notes
Monday Jan 21 ******* Holiday in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. ********
6) Wednesday Jan 23 Embryology of Teleost Fish
lecture notes
7) Friday Jan 25 Embryonic Development of Amphibians, Birds, Reptiles & Mammals
lecture notes
8) Monday Jan 28 More on Regulative vs. Mosaic Development, and Experimental Embryology
lecture notes
9) Wednesday Jan 30 This lecture was cancelled.
Friday's class and the exam on Monday will be held as scheduled.
Labortories this week will be also be held as usual.
10) Friday Feb 1 Review for first examination, followed by office hours
review questions
These questions are from last year, but we've covered nearly all the same material this year.
Please feel free to ask if you're uncertain about any questions.
11) Monday Feb 4 First Examination
12) Wednesday Feb 6 Mesoderm: Somites and Kidneys
lecture notes
13) Friday Feb 8 Ectoderm
lecture notes
14) Monday Feb 11 How Do Physical Forces Cause the Shapes of Anatomical Structures?
lecture notes
15) Wednesday Feb 13 Symmetries of Causes Control Symmetries of Anatomical Shapes
lecture notes
16) Friday Feb 15 Breaking Symmetry;
Reaction-Diffusion Systems: Instabilities that Create Geometric Patterns
lecture notes
17) Monday Feb 18 Chemotaxis, and Embryology of the Eye; Retino-tectal Projections
lecture notes on chemotaxis
lecture notes on eye development

18) Wednesday Feb 20 Continuation of retino-tectal connections, discussion of the Watanabe and Kondo paper, and other topics
lecture notes
19) Friday Feb 22 Snakes, Gradients, and Heart Development
lecture notes on the heart
20) Monday Feb 25 Endoderm, and start review for second exam
lecture notes
Optional video: time lapse of salamander development, and some amphibian pictures
(thanks to student Emily Mercer for sharing this link)
21) Wednesday Feb 27 Review for Second Examination

Review of origins of tissues and structures
Study Questions
Statement about figures
Lots more study questions;
Figures to identify

22) Friday Mar 1 Second Examination
23) Monday Mar 4 Limb Buds
lecture notes
24) Wednesday Mar 6 Regeneration
lecture notes
25) Friday Mar 8 Cell Sorting
lecture notes
 March 11-15 spring break
26) Monday Mar 18 Liesegang Rings: Geometrical Patterns Formed by Chemical Reactions
lecture notes This will be the topic of the Biol_441L lab this week.
Please read the notes and watch the videos before your lab session.

More on Cell Sorting
lecture notes

27) Wednesday Mar 20 Continuing Discussion of Programmed Cell Death
lecture notes, with some added review questions
28) Friday Mar 22 Immunology, Allergies, and Autoimmune Diseases in Relation to Embryology
lecture notes
29) Monday Mar 25 Immunology, notes continued from Friday
more information on multiple sclerosis
30) Wednesday Mar 27 Formation of Blood Vessels; Atherosclerosis
lecture notes
31) Friday March 29 Resting Potentials, Fertilization, and Galvanotaxis
lecture notes
32) Monday Apr 1 Embryology of Plants
lecture notes
This topic will NOT be included in the hour exam on Friday.
33) Wednesday Apr 3 Review for Third Examination
first set of review questions
second set of review questions
third set of review questions
fourth set of review questions
fifth set of review questions
34) Friday Apr 5 Third Examination
35) Monday Apr 8 Plants, continued; then Metamorphosis
lecture notes on metamorphosis
36) Wednesday Apr 10 Aging
lecture notes
37) Friday Apr 12 Cancer as Disruption of Embryological Mechanisms
lecture notes
38) Monday Apr 15 Cancer, continued
39) Wednesday Apr 17 Evolutionary Developmental Biology, the so-called "Evo-Devo"
lecture notes
Wednesday and Thursday, April 17-18 tissue culture pictures for those of you taking the lab
40) Monday Apr 22 Evo-Devo continued, more on Hox genes
Hox Genes lecture notes
Sex Determination lecture notes
41) Wednesday Apr 24 Future Medical Applications of Some Embryological Phenomena
lecture notes
42) Friday Apr 26 Concluding Thoughts: Review of How Development Works
lecture notes

Office hours next week:
Dr. Harris will be in his office every day next week (April 29 - May 3)
from about 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

  FINAL EXAM: Monday, May 6, 8:00 am

The final exam will be cumulative, covering topics in the entire course,
but with somewhat more emphasis on the material since the last exam.

Key points for general review of the course
Review questions for the last part of the course
More questions may be posted.