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Unit of study_

BIOL3026: Developmental Biology

The advent of multicellularity represents one of life's great transitions in complexity, ultimately paving the way to the evolution of complex organisms such as humans. This unit focuses on how such complex multicellular systems are constructed using both animal and plant systems in a comparative way that reveals common strategies and striking contrasts. The course will cover the multidisciplinary nature of approaches used, including classical embryology, biochemistry, genetics, transcriptomics, live-imaging, cell biology, physiology and computer simulation. Topics will include fundamental concepts, morphogens, establishing body axes, cell polarity, differentiation and commitment, evolution in the context of development, mechanics and morphogenesis with examples from model systems, stem cells and cancer. Practical work includes experiments addressing gene expression, organ identity and homeotic conversions, and uses CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to demonstrate approaches to the study of developmental biology. The practical classes complement the theoretical aspects of the course and develops important skills in developmental biology.

Code BIOL3026
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
(MBLG2X72 or GEGE2X01 or GENE2002 or BIOL2X29 or BCMB2X02) and 6cp from (MBLG2X71 or BIOL2XXX or BCMB2XXX or MEDS2003 or QBIO2001 or IMMU2XXX)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand, explain and evaluate classical and modern approaches used in developmental biology
  • LO2. know, understand and analyse developmental biology information
  • LO3. define and describe different means by which multicellular organisms develop
  • LO4. compare and contrast mechanisms of cell fate determination
  • LO5. appraise how developmental biology relates to evolution and diversity
  • LO6. develop skills in the use and application of developmental biology tools
  • LO7. formulate ideas on the practical applications of developmental biology in agriculture
  • LO8. relate the use of developmental biology to improving animal and plant health and well being