Mount Holyoke College

BIOLOGY 200:How Organisms Develop


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CELLS MOVE. Everything we study in this course should be considered in light of the fact that cells are squirming, crawling, dividing, streaming, and ALIVE. You will get the best sense of how plants and animals develop from working with the living material in lab. Nothing compares to watching a fern antheridium release sperm before your very eyes. This semester, as developmental biologists, you will be fertilizing sea urchin eggs, cloning lily cells, and discovering how hormones influence pea plants.

This website is a new resource, where you will be able to view moving images of many types of cells and embryos. The events in embryogenesis happen on a wide range of time scales, from things you can see having movement in real time (such as the swimming of a sea urchin sperm, or the release of fern spores from a sporangium) to s-l-o-w events taking hours, days, or weeks (cleaving to two cells, forming a neural tube, or going from seed-to-seed). Time-lapse video speeds up these slow events so that the incremental changes become dramatic. Many of the movies you will see were made here at MHC--we have the capabilities to film almost any kind of cell doing almost any kind of thing. Indeed, it is one of our goals that student videos will be posted to this site--a form of instant publication, and way to share exciting scientific results.


We will provide links to animations we view in class, so you can show your friends how ribosomes translate a messenger RNA molecule into a chain of amino acids