Ch 6: Developmental Mechanisms

About This Chapter

Review the elements of developmental mechanisms to prepare for the MCAT exam. Video lessons and quizzes incorporate all of the elements of the developmental mechanisms section in a simple and clear manner.

Developmental Mechanisms - Chapter Summary

By watching our online video lessons, you can learn about the roles of developmental mechanisms within the reproductive system. These video lessons can educate you in the following concepts:

  • Tracking cell development through fate mapping
  • Spemann's Organizer
  • Inhibitors, concentration gradients and signaling molecules
  • How signaling molecules control differentiation

These concepts are brought to you through short video lessons that are easy to understand. In addition to the video lessons, we offer supplementary quizzes that can be used to determine your weaknesses and strengths. Results are presented to you immediately after completing the quiz. Use the quiz results to help you decide on your readiness to answer developmental mechanism-related questions on the MCAT's biological sciences section.

Developmental Mechanisms Objectives

According to the MCAT developmental mechanism test objectives, you're expected to know the following concepts:

  • Cell specialization (tissue types, determination and differentiation)
  • Programmed cell death
  • Gene regulation and cell communication

There are 52 multiple-choice questions on the MCAT's biological sciences section. You can expect these questions to be divided into seven sets of questions referring to reading passages and 13 individual questions. There will be four to seven questions assigned to each reading passage. You must be able to answer all biological science questions within the 70-minute time limit. Along with answering questions on an optional trial section and the required biological sciences section, you need to complete two additional sections that consist of verbal reasoning and physical science questions.

4 Lessons in Chapter 6: Developmental Mechanisms
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Spemann's Organizer: Controller of Cell Fate

1. 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.

Concentration Gradients, Signaling Molecules & Inhibitors in Development

2. 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.

How Signaling Molecules Control Differentiation

3. 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.

How Fate Mapping Is Used to Track Cell Development

4. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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