From CellBiology
Revision as of 08:34, 3 June 2014 by Z8600021 (talk | contribs)


This lecture is about: – how the embryo makes use of cellular mechanisms (described during this term) to construct itself. It is concerned with concepts rather than detail. You should appreciate how these cellular mechanisms integrate to produce the whole organism.

CSt1 zygote.gif Human CST23.gif

The image above shows the first cell that forms following fertilization, and that cell's offspring 8 weeks later.

Guest Lecturer - Dr Stephen Palmer

Lecture notes

Development Lecture 2013 1image/page(PDF)


  • Understand the utility of model organisms in research on developmental mechanisms
  • Understand the conceptual importance of somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning) experiments
  • Understand the concept of how lineage restriction is controlled by the expression of DNA-binding transcription factors
  • Brief understanding of how transcription factor expression can be controlled by signaling pathways
  • Brief understanding of cell movements in development
  • Brief understanding of how apoptosis can create shape

Lecture Summary

  • Williams-Beuren syndrome
  • Model organisms in developmental biology
  • Early embryogenesis, cleavage, blastocyst, embryonic stem cells
  • Patterning and transcription factors
  • Cell signaling
  • Apoptosis
  • Extracellular matrices


  • Cell lineage – a linear sequence of cell fate that traces progressive states of differentiation. Analogous to the "ancestry" of a cell – e.g. liver cells are derived from the endodermal lineage.
  • Embryonic patterning – the underlying mechanism by which a shapeless ball of cells is provided with the information required to develop into its appropriate anatomical form and structure.
  • Cell commitment (specification) – the process by which a cell becomes dedicated to becoming some other more mature cell type due to its position in the embryo or as a result of its cell lineage: reversible if exposed to a different environment e.g. grafted into another location.
  • Cell determination – the process by which a cell becomes irreversibly locked into a particular cell fate: precedes differentiation. However, the cell shows no outward signs of what they are destined to be.
  • Differentiation - the process by which a less specialized cell undergoes a recognizable change (of shape and/or function) into a more specialized cell type: irreversible (under normal circumstances).
  • Morphogenesis – The overall process by which the embryo resolves itself into a mature shape

2014 Course Content

Lectures: Cell Biology Introduction | Cells Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes | Cell Membranes and Compartments | Cell Nucleus | Cell Export - Exocytosis | Cell Import - Endocytosis | Cell Mitochondria | Cell Junctions | Cytoskeleton Introduction | Cytoskeleton - Intermediate Filaments | Cytoskeleton - Microfilaments | Cytoskeleton - Microtubules | Extracellular Matrix 1 | Extracellular Matrix 2 | Cell Cycle | Cell Division | Cell Death 1 | Cell Death 2 | Signal 1 | Signal 2 | Stem Cells 1 | Stem Cells 2 | 2013 Revision | Development | 2014 Revision

Laboratories: Introduction to Lab | Microscopy Methods | Preparation/Fixation | Immunochemistry | Cell Knockout Methods | Cytoskeleton Exercise | Confocal Microscopy | Tissue Culture | Microarray Visit | Stem Cells Lab

2014 Projects: Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4

Dr Mark Hill 2015, UNSW Cell Biology - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G