The process through which a biological organism grows to maturity. In certain contexts it can mean the changes the organism goes through over its entire lifetime.

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How does hair grow and is it similar to how grass grows?

If I recall correctly, nails (finger nails or toe nails) grow by adding matter at its base. So for instance, if you would draw a dot at the very bottom of your nail, it would end at the top in a ...
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633 views

Manipulation of gene expression using VP16 fusion and engrailed fusion to a transcription factor?

Today, a presenter briefly mentioned that gene expression in sea urchins during development might be manipulated using VP16 and engrailed fusions. On a slide, it said that expression might be ...
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94 views

When is wing growth in the bat complete and how soon can bats fly after wing growth is complete?

I was reading this paper by Cretekos et al (2008), in which they state that wing development in the bat is not complete until after birth - the wing continues to elongate postnatally. This would ...
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557 views

What metabolic activities are performed by a developing human fetus's liver?

I understand that organ function varies with the stages of development. Does a fetal liver EVER perform lipogenesis, gluconeogenesis, make bile, etc? Or does it only begin performing these actions ...
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156 views

What's the difference between a free chromosome fragment and an extrachromosomal array?

This is reference to a review on C. elegans mosaic analysis by Yochem and Herman, in which the authors make a distinction between free chromosome fragments and extrachromosomal arrays. For the ...
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If a receptor is inhibited throughout embryogenesis, could there be observable phenotypic differences in the adult?

So I read a journal article entitled "Maternal hypoxia and caffeine exposure depress fetal CV function during primary organogenesis" (Momoi, et al., 2012) and in essence the article speaks of the ...
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437 views

Question about cell signaling pathways (RTK, Jak-Stat, SMAD, etc)

I am in an embryology course right now and we've just started covering cell-cell communication in development. We were talking about the roles of the various cadherins and their discoveries but we got ...
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267 views

Primary cilia: what cell types have non-motile cilia that migrate?

My understanding is that there are two broad categories of cilia: motile and non-motile (also called primary. Examples of the former include sperm flagella and the cilia of epithelial cells that ...
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247 views

What prevents a pregnant woman's immune system from recognizing her fetus as nonself (and attacking)?

I'm familiar with the scenario of Rh- mother with Rh+ fetus having complications (more so after her first child), but that's not what I'm curious about. I want to know mechanistically why a pregnant ...
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403 views

Fibonacci sequence in nature, truth or just wishful thinking?

I'm reading a bit on the Fibonacci sequence in nature, be it the golden ratio or the golden spiral forming over and over again in biological structures, and then I came across this online article by ...
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Why does the apex of the human heart usually point to the left?

In the majority of human beings, the apex of the heart (left ventricle) points towards the left side of the body. Sometimes however (approx. 1/12000 births), a person is born with a condition known ...
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Could a fetus properly develop in micro/zero-gravity?

I suppose another way of looking at the question is: how important is gravity for the development of mammal fetuses? And if things would go wrong, what sort of things would they be, and what would be ...
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599 views

How do cells “know” what “type” to differentiate into?

I have been reading about Townes and Holtfreter's work in 1955, in which cells are dissociated from a blastocyst in an alkaline solution then mixed together and spontaneously reaggregates based on ...
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173 views

How does sex differentiation work in Paracerceis sculpta, the sexually tetramorphic isopod?

Paracerceis sculpta is a marine isopod species known for its unusual reproductive strategy: female: medium-sized; lives in harems run by an α male α male: large; keeps a harem of females β male: ...
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94 views

Free-flowing cells and those that are stuck together?

I've been thinking about the development of an embryo from the zygote stage. How is it that when cytokinesis takes place at that stage, the cells all stick together in a little ball, but later in ...
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Are human bodies programmed to die?

Following from this question: What is the evolutionary advantage of death?: Is there any evidence that human bodies have systemic self-destruction built into their developmental program? I'm not ...
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902 views

Impact of Alan Turing's approach to morphogenesis

Shortly before his untimely passing, the computing pioneer Alan Turing published his most cited paper The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis (1952). The central question for Turing was: how does a ...
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78 views

Are there any organisms with larva more advanced than adult form?

Usually adult organisms are more sophisticated than corresponding larva, i. e. frogs, mosquitoes, fish. Are there species where the opposite is true?
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118 views

Bicoid regulation of hunchback

I'm learning about development via the example of Drosophila embryogenesis. I understand that bicoid regulates hunchback, among other genes. My question whether the regulation is direct or indirect? ...
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220 views

Genetic effects on personality

It is said that genes are partly responsible for the choices we make in our life; our genes help to create our environment, and then that environment can influence our personality. So, beside genes, ...
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452 views

Does Amphibian embryo's blastocoel become a primitive yolk sac without yolk?

The mammalian blastocoel becomes yolk sac without yolk according to my professor. I have not found any evidence that such a thing happens in amphibians like frog. I need to be able to compare and ...