Fall 2024

Developmental Biology with Lab

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-221


Katerina Ragkousi (Sections 01 and 01L)


How can a single cell, the fertilized egg, give rise to all the specialized cells of an adult? What gives rise to biological form? What is the molecular logic of the pathways that progressively refine cellular identities? How do cells "talk" to one another so as to coordinate their behaviors as embryos develop form and function? How can parts of an organism be regenerated with only the appropriate regions remade, structured identically to the missing ones? How does a stem cell differ from a non-stem cell? How can genetically identical organisms be cloned? This course will offer an integrative study of the development of animals, leading to the formulation of the principles of development, including an introduction to experimental embryology and developmental physiology, anatomy, genetics and "evo-devo." Laboratory work explores embryonic development and regeneration in sea anemones, sea urchins, nematodes, flatworms, fish, and chickens. Three classroom hours plus three hours of laboratory per week.

Requisite: BIOL 191. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 16 students. Fall semester. Professor Ragkousi.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference to Biology, BCBP and related discipline seniors and juniors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: an emphasis on group work, critical reading and discussion of primary literature, in-class exams, independent research, lab notebook keeping and lab visit in and out defined practical hours for observation of embryonic development.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2022, Fall 2024