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- Explain how the male reproductive system produces sperm and how the female reproductive system produces eggs.
- Describe the structure and function of the placenta.
- List the three germ layers that result from gastrulation.
- Learn how signaling molecules control cell differentiation.
- Explain how to use fate mapping to track cell development.
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. Dorsal Lip of the Blastopore: Definition & Concept
You are the sperm that won the great race! Congratulations, Speed Racer. You are the victor that made to the final destination, and the first to penetrate the protective barriers surrounding the prize egg. Once the sperm penetrates the egg, the process of development is initiated where a single cell divides and undergoes the necessary changes to produce every single cell, organ, and tissue found in the animal. The blastopore lip initiates the formation of the spinal cord.
14. Cnidaria Gas Exchange System
The phylum Cnidaria is diverse and fascinating. One thing that makes them so interesting is how gas exchange occurs in their bodies. Learn more about Cnidarian gas exchange and how it is different from many other animals.
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