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- Become familiar with the processes of oogenesis and spermatogenesis.
- Describe the morula and blastula in early embryonic development.
- Examine the processes of embryo implantation and placenta formation.
- Explain the functions of the placenta.
- List the three germ layers formed by gastrulation.
- Discuss Spemann's organizer.
- Explore the factors that inhibit development.
- Learn how differentiation is controlled by concentration gradients.
- Understand how cell development can be tracked by fate mapping.
1. Overview of Animal Reproduction and Development
At this stage in life, you likely know where babies come from. However, did you know that some animals can make clones of themselves and reproduce sexually too? In this lesson, you'll learn more about sexual reproduction and early vertebrate development.
2. Spermatogenesis: How the Male Reproductive System Produces Sperm
In this lesson, you'll learn the series of steps necessary to produce a fully functional sperm cell. You'll also look at the structure of a sperm cell and see how it's equipped to venture forth into new territory.
3. Oogenesis: How the Female Reproductive System Produces Eggs
Did you know that a human female already has all of the oocytes that she will make in her entire life before she is even born? In this lesson, you'll learn how the human body produces an ovum through the process of oogenesis. You'll also learn how polar bodies help to ensure that female gametes are of high quality even though they are not produced in high quantities.
4. Early Embryonic Development: The Morula and Blastula
This lesson on the early stages of mammalian development covers the processes following fertilization, such as cleavage, the morula formation and blastula formation. Watch to learn what the inner cell mass, trophoblast cells and blastocyst are, as well as their functions within embryonic development.
5. Embryo Implantation and Placenta Formation
This lesson will cover the journey the mammalian embryo first makes after it has been fertilized. Learn how maternal blood moves through the embryo, and how the placenta is formed.
6. The Placenta and the Fetus: Structure and Function
Have you ever wondered how a baby eats before it's born or if babies go to the bathroom while still inside their mother? In this lesson, you will learn about the placenta and how it works to ensure a fetus stays well-nourished and healthy before birth.
7. Amniotic Fluid, The Amnion, and the Yolk Sac
From a chick developing inside an egg to a human baby growing in its mother's womb, all developing vertebrates rely on a support system to protect them, feed them, supply them with oxygen, remove wastes, and do much, much more to ensure that the embryo grows and develops into a fully functional organism. In this lesson, you'll learn about the different parts of that support system and some of the things that they do.
8. Gastrulation and the 3 Germ Layers (Ectoderm, Endoderm & Mesoderm)
Gastrulation is a key process in embryonic development - it's how a simple ball of cells begins to grow into a fully functioning being! Watch this lesson to learn about a key process in the development of almost all multicellular organisms.
9. Spemann's Organizer: Controller of Cell Fate
Have you ever wondered how different parts of a developing embryo know what kind of tissue to become? What prevents two heads from developing on the same embryo, or for that matter, what ensures that a head develops at all? A small group of cells called Spemann's organizer determines the fates of the cells around them.
10. Concentration Gradients, Signaling Molecules & Inhibitors in Development
The discovery and characterization of Spemann's organizer was a significant achievement in the field of developmental biology, but this small piece of the dorsal lip is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coordinating the differentiation of all of the various tissue types in a growing embryo. In this lesson, you'll learn about concentration gradients and how they can be used to create various combinations of signaling molecules in different parts of the embryo.
11. How Signaling Molecules Control Differentiation
From signaling molecules to transcription factors and gene expression, in this lesson you'll learn what it takes for a cell to differentiate. You'll also learn some of the ways a cell can make sense of different combinations of signaling molecules and how these combinations can be used to guide a cell through the process of differentiation.
12. How Fate Mapping Is Used to Track Cell Development
Over the years, scientists have developed several methods to label and track groups of cells as they develop. These types of experiments are called fate mapping studies. In this lesson, you'll learn the basics of fate mapping and see how technology has allowed scientists to improve fate mapping techniques.
13. Blastocoel: Definition & Concept
Formation of the blastocoel is an important step in development -- it sets the stage for future growth and change in the cells of the early embryo. Learn how the blastocoel helps and protects these cells.
14. Gastrula: Definition & Concept
A gastrula is a developmental stage of some animal embryos in which different germ layers are present. In this lesson, learn about the structure of a gastrula, how it forms, and what its germ layers become in adult humans.
15. Germ Cells in Humans: Definition & Concept
Although you may think germ cells have something to do with getting sick, this is 100% not true. This lesson defines germ cells and provides an overview of their processes.
16. Habituation in Animals: Definition & Example
Habituation is a simple form of learning that all animals, including people, are capable of. In this lesson, you will learn what it is, how it occurs, and why it's a big energy saver.
17. Mimicry in Animals: Definition & Examples
Living things have evolved some very unique and fascinating ways to trick predators and competitors. Mimicry is one such tactic. Learn about mimicry and explore some of the more wild and interesting examples of it.
18. Allantois: Function & Definition
The allantois can be found within the structure of an embryo, and in that way aids in the development of many organisms, including humans. In this lesson, learn about its function and definition.
19. Endoderm Layer: Definition & Derivatives
Do you know what the lungs and intestines have in common? They both actually develop from the same tissue layer in an embryo. Learn what other structures are also derived from this same embryonic layer in this lesson.
20. Polar Body: Definition, Formation & Twinning
This lesson describes polar bodies. It answers two questions: what are they, and how do they form? It then describes how twins might arise because of polar body formation.
21. Cnidaria Respiratory System
In this lesson, you will learn about the animals of the phylum Cnidaria, what a respiratory system is, and how the respiratory system of a cnidarian works. Be sure to complete the quiz after the lesson.
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