Developmental Biology Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Developmental Biology?
Developmental Biology is the scientific study of how living organisms develop, grow and change. It examines the biological processes that cause cells to differentiate, move and interact to form complex structures during the lifecycle of an organism. Developmental Biology focuses on how genetic information is expressed in cells and tissues, how it is regulated, and how it leads to complex patterns of development that ultimately result in the formation of a functioning adult organism. The field of Developmental Biology encompasses a variety of sub-disciplines including embryology, genetics and molecular biology. It provides insight into how organisms develop from single cells into fully functional adults as well as understanding genetic disorders associated with developmental abnormalities. By studying these developmental processes we can learn about our own origins, why certain diseases are passed down through generations, and what keeps us healthy throughout our lives. Developmental biologists use multiple experimental approaches including cell culture techniques, mouse models for gene manipulation studies, stem cell research and computational methods. The advances achieved by this field have led to a better understanding of embryonic development as well as human health issues such as cancer or birth defects. For example, researchers have been able to identify genes responsible for certain types of cancer or understand why some embryos fail to develop properly due to abnormal gene expression. These discoveries have allowed scientists to create therapies for individuals affected by these conditions or develop new treatments for diseases caused by mutations in specific genes involved in development such as cystic fibrosis or Down’s syndrome. In addition, this field has helped uncover many evolutionary questions related to the origin of species from common ancestors thousands of years ago all the way up until today’s modern humans. Ultimately Developmental Biology has made important contributions towards improving human health through its research findings on embryonic processes and genetic disorders which can help lead us towards cures for these conditions in the future .