Biology 2175 - Developmental Biology - Fall 2016 - William Jackman - Bowdoin College

Clairvoyance by Rene Magritte, 1936
Clairvoyance by Rene Magritte (1936)
"Between the fifth and tenth days the lump of stem cells differentiates into the overall building plan of the embryo and its organs. It is a bit like a lump of iron turning into the space shuttle. In fact it is the profoundest wonder we can still imagine and accept, and at the same time so usual that we have to force ourselves to wonder about the wondrousness of this wonder." - Miroslav Holub (1990)

An examination of current concepts of embryonic development, with an emphasis on experimental design. Topics include cell fate specification, morphogenetic movements, cell signaling, differential gene expression and regulation, organogenesis, and the evolutionary context of model systems. Project-oriented laboratory work emphasizes experimental methods. Lectures and three hours of laboratory per week. Textbook is Princlples of Development 5e by Wolpert & Tickle.

Syllabus - Lectures - Assignments/Exams - Readings

"How the first embryon-fibre, sphere, or cube,
Lives in new forms,-a line,-a ring,-a tube;
Closed in the womb with limbs unfinish'd laves,
Sips with rude mouth the salutary waves;
Seeks round its cell the sanguine streams, that pass,
And drinks with crimson gills the vital gas;
Weaves with soft threads the blue meandering vein,
The heart's red concave, and the silver brain;
Leads the long nerve, expands the impatient sense,
And clothes in silken skin the nascent Ens."
- Dewhurst Bilsborrow in Erasmus Darwin's Zoonomia (1794)