BIO310: Developmental Biology

Course Syllabus for "BIO310: Developmental Biology"

Please note: this legacy course does not offer a certificate and may contain broken links and outdated information. Although archived, it is open for learning without registration or enrollment. Please consider contributing updates to this course on GitHub (you can also adopt, adapt, and distribute this course under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license). To find fully-supported, current courses, visit our Learn site.

Developmental biology asks questions about how organisms come into being, how life forms, and how complex structures develop and are differentiated.  These fundamental questions have been the subject of research for centuries; accordingly, this course you will teach you not only about the beginnings of organisms, but about the beginnings of developmental biology as a science.  Currently, developmental biologists use a range of tools and research foci—from molecular techniques to surgical manipulations to chemical and environmental studies—to answer these questions.  Their approaches are multi-faceted because developmental biology itself addresses topics of importance to a wide range of fields, from molecular biology to neuroscience to evolutionary biology. In this course, you will learn about the field of developmental biology from its origins to the present day.  We will take a look at historical experiments as well as modern techniques and the mechanisms of development.  You will follow a variety of metazoan organisms from their start at fertilization through the stages of their development and on to entire organismal and post-embryonic development, learning along the way about the molecular and genetic regulations involved in these processes.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt,.xls, etc.).

√    Be competent in the English language.

Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.