From Embryology

Lab Attendance

Lab 1 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:52, 6 August 2014 (EST)



Kélen Fabíola Arroteia, Mainara Ferreira Barbieri, Gustavo Henrique Martins Ferreira Souza, Hiromitsu Tanaka, Marcos Nogueira Eberlin, Stephen Hyslop, Lúcia Elvira Alvares, Luís Antonio Violin Dias Pereira Albumin is synthesized in epididymis and aggregates in a high molecular mass glycoprotein complex involved in sperm-egg fertilization. PLoS ONE: 2014, 9(8);e103566 PubMed 25084016

Lab 2 --Z3415716 (talk) 11:13, 13 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 3 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:54, 20 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 4--Z3415716 (talk) 12:27, 27 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 5 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:56, 3 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 6 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:37, 10 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 8 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:57, 24 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 9 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:21, 8 October 2014 (EST)

Lab 10 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:57, 15 October 2014 (EST)

Lab 11 --Z3415716 (talk) 12:36, 22 October 2014 (EST)

Lab 12 --Z3415716 (talk) 11:52, 29 October 2014 (EST)

Assessment Lab 1

Article 1

Effect of Vitamin D status on clinical pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilisation

The study undertaken by Garbedian et al. attempted to investigate whether vitamin D (25-hydroxy-vitamin D) serum level of in vitro patients could predict the successfulness of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). 173 patients participated, having met the criteria of age (18-41 years), follicle-stimulating hormone level (≤12IU/L at day 3 of the menstrual cycle), and consent.

Serum samples were collected from the participating women, prior to oocyte retrieval, and were analysed, dividing the patients into two groups, sufficient (≥75 nmol/L) or insufficient (<75 nmol/L), based on their serum vitamin D levels. Regardless of this division, the IVF procedures were undertaken as per standard protocol.

This article focused on two main outcomes, embryo implantation, and clinical pregnancy. Implantation was described as the establishment of a gestational sac upon ultrasonography screening. Whereas clinical pregnancy assessed via ultrasound, was determined by the visibility of an intrauterine sac. The results were collated, analysed, and compared between the groups in order to discover a relationship, if any, between serum vitamin D levels and both implantation and clinical pregnancy rates.

Garbedian and colleagues found significant differences between the groups’ rate of embryo transfer and clinical pregnancy, however this is not the case in implantation rate. In consistency with the IVF protocols, embryo transfer was to take place on day 5, if at least 5-6 acceptable embryos were developed by day 3 of fertilisation. It was discovered that women with a sufficient level of serum vitamin D were more likely to achieve this step by day 5 than women with low serum vitamin D. Moreover, a higher clinical pregnancy rate was observed within the same group of women. An increased value of embryo implantation rate was noted, however results were statistically insignificant.

With acknowledgement of the study’s limitations, Garbedian et al. concluded that women sufficient in vitamin D serum levels were more likely to achieve clinical pregnancy following IVF, with serum levels of the vitamin acting as an independent predictor.

Effect of vitamin D status on clinical pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization.

Kimberley Garbedian, Miranda Boggild, Joel Moody, Kimberly E Liu Effect of vitamin D status on clinical pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization. CMAJ Open: 2013, 1(2);E77-82 PubMed 25077107

Article 2

The Role of SPRASA in Female Fertility

Sperm protein reactive with antisperm antibodies (SPRASA) also referred to as sperm lysosome-like protein 1 is a target protein of antisperm antibodies, and is the key protein explored within the article by Wagner et al. Numerous tests were preformed within this study investigating the role of this protein, particularly in fertilisation and embryonic development.

The Bovine IVF model was employed to determine the effect of SPRASA antiserum on fertilisation, cleavage, and embryo development. Both bovine zona pellucida-attached and zona pellucida-free oocyte-sperm binding was investigated with the presence of antiserum preparation. Wagner and colleagues were able to conclude that fertility rates significantly reduced when SPRASA antiserum was added to oocytes, and sperm and oocytes samples, but not to sperm samples alone. Further on this note, the study found that the antiserum preparation negatively influenced the zona pellucida-free oocyte (oolemma)-sperm binding process, whereas no significant effect was found in the zona pellucida-attached oocyte-sperm binding. In terms of development, it was discovered that the antiserum was able to inhibit morula stage growth but not the further development at the blastocyst stage.

Wagner and colleagues also assessed the influence on sperm motility by SPRASA and observed that sperm motility was not an affected area as there was no significant difference between motile sperm in antiserum perpetration and the control group.

As previously thought that SPRASA was only present in spermatozoa, this study examined whether the protein was also expressed in oocytes and ovaries. Bovine oocytes, and ovaries from cats and dogs, were obtained for this section of the research. Similarly, sperm and sperm precursor cells were collected from testis of cats and dogs in order to illustrate the presence of SPRASA proteins. Results indicated that oocytes express SPRASA and staining was able to localise the protein to the zona pellucida and oolemma of bovine oocytes. Similar preparation and staining was carried out on ovaries of cats and dogs, and returned with positive expression of SPRASA.

Fertilisation and embryo development was tested via immunisation and mating of female mice. Female mice were either continuously immunised with recombinant human SPRASA protein or irrelevant recombinant keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) protein (control). The mice were then monitored, relocated for mating with male mice, and then compared in terms of pregnancy and fetal development. Wagner et al. found that all control mice became pregnant after 2 mating cycles, whereas the majority of SPRASA immunised mice failed to achieve pregnancy altogether. In regards to the number of embryo development and weight, no difference was recorded between the control and immunised mice.

The final test was comparing the antibody levels from blood samples of fertile and infertile couples. Upon analysis of results, Wagner et al. discovered no significant difference between both fertile and infertile men and women, however 3 of the infertile women presented with inflated levels of the antibodies.

Wagner et al. concluded that SPRASA, to a certain extent, plays a role in fertilisation and embryo development. They also rebutted the previous theory that the protein is solely expressed in male gametes with identifying SPRASA within the female reproductive structures.

The Role of SPRASA in Female Fertility.

Angela Wagner, Olivia J Holland, Mancy Tong, Andrew N Shelling, Lawrence W Chamley The Role of SPRASA in Female Fertility. Reprod Sci: 2014; PubMed 25038051

Assessment Lab 2

WNT4 screening in the testis of the tammar wallaby

Hongshi Yu, Andrew J Pask, Geoffrey Shaw, Marilyn B Renfree Differential expression of WNT4 in testicular and ovarian development in a marsupial. BMC Dev. Biol.: 2006, 6;44 PubMed 17014734

| Biomed Central

--Mark Hill This is fine and description with the image is good. You should have also reproduced the figure description and the reference here on your page. (4/5)

Assessment Lab 3

Barry G Timms Prostate development: a historical perspective. Differentiation: 2008, 76(6);565-77 PubMed 18462432

D B Hart Preliminary Note on the Development of the Clitoris, Vagina, and Hymen. J Anat Physiol: 1896, 31(Pt 1);18-28.11 PubMed 17232227

Martyn P. L. Williams, John M. Huston The history of ideas about testicular descent. Pediatric Surgery International: 1991, 6(3):180-184 The history of ideas about testicular descent

--Mark Hill These are relevant articles. I wonder why the third reference is not listed in PubMed Database? This usually indicates the relevance of the journal in the peer review system (4/5).

Assessment Lab 4

Article 1

Conversion of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in Wharton's jelly to dopaminergic neurons in vitro: potential therapeutic application for Parkinsonism

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with the degradation of the dopaminergic system in the striatum region of the brain. Current short-term treatment for Parkinson’s disease is antiparkinson medications, mainly enhancing dopamine levels, however such medications reduce in effectiveness with further degradation of the neurotransmitter’s pathway. The study led by Fu, however, proposes a potential long-term treatment for Parkinson’s disease, utilising induced human mesenchymal stem cells (HMSCs) originating in the Wharton’s jelly of the umbilical cord.

Fu et al. isolated HMSCs from the umbilical cord exposing the cells to subsequent chemical treatment resulting in the differentiation of these multipotent cells into dopaminergic neurones. These neurones were then injected into the subjects, adults rats with induced Parkinson’s post unilateral striatal lesioning. Subjects were compared with control untreated rats, concluding that the transplanted group exhibited a substantial improvement in rotational behaviour and Parkinson’s symptoms, however not enough to deem them cured from the disease.

The potential for HMSCs, isolated from the umbilical cord, to correct Parkinson’s disease is further emphasised in its easy isolation methods, the large amount of cells able to be isolated, and the simple duplication of these stem cells. Fu et al. were able to collect 1x10^6 HUMSCs from 20 cm of umbilical cord and duplicate the amount to 2x10^6 cells in a three day incubation period. Furthermore, the study found that the transplanted differentiated cells were still successful 4 months post procedure, suggesting that this method may be a long-term treatment for the disease. The investigation also comments on the prospect of HUMSCs as a source for transplantation, attributed to its non-immunological inducing characteristic.

Yu-Show Fu, Yun-Chih Cheng, Maan-Yuh Anya Lin, Henrich Cheng, Pei-Ming Chu, Shih-Chich Chou, Yang-Hsin Shih, Miau-Hwa Ko, Min-Shan Sung Conversion of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in Wharton's jelly to dopaminergic neurons in vitro: potential therapeutic application for Parkinsonism. Stem Cells: 2006, 24(1);115-24 PubMed 16099997

Vascular shunts

There are three shunts within the foetal circulatory development that close postnatally:

  • Ductus arteriosus

A canal that connects the foetal pulmonary artery to the aorta, distributing oxygenated blood to the foetus while bypassing the developing lungs.

  • Ductus venosus

Connecting the left umbilical vein to the inferior vena cave, allowing placental oxygenated blood to bypass the liver.

  • Foramen ovale

A foramen within the interatrial septum where blood from the right atrium enters the left atrium.

--Mark Hill Good cord stem cell paper, a little old though. Your 3 shunts are correct. (5/5)

Assessment Lab 5

Oesophageal atresia

Oesophageal atresia is a rare gastrointestinal developmental abnormality, however in terms of oesophageal anomaly it is the most common, with one newborn out of every 2500 to 4500 being diagnosed within the first 24 hours of life [1]. Oesophageal atresia is diagnosed with the discontinuity of the oesophagus from the oral cavity to the stomach, where the oesophagus ends abruptly not in contact with the cardia of the stomach.

Oesophageal atresia can be classified into five variants according to the location of the atresia and any associated tracheal fistulas (tracheoesophageal fistula) [1]. The five classifications include: oesophageal artesia without tracheoesophageal fistula, proximal tracheoesophageal fistula with distal oesophageal atresia, distal tracheoesophageal fistula with proximal oesophageal atresia, proximal and distal tracheoesophageal fistula, and tracheoesophageal fistula without oesophageal atresia [1].

The cause for this gastrointestinal abnormality is unclear and research continues to take place. With that said, various theories of the embryological origin of this anomaly have been proposed [1]. Three forefront theories comment on the primitive digestive tube and its failure to form a successful diverticulum, resulting in the connection of the trachea and oesophagus (tracheoesophageal fistula). In terms of the formation of oesophageal atresia, two of the three theories reason that the cellular distal portion of the primitive digestive tube rearranges and results in an abnormal discontinuous growth; whereas the third theory emphasises that the atresia is a consequence from regression of that portion of the tube towards the main part of the embryo. Currently no genetic roles have been identified in this developmental abnormality [1].

Regardless of the lack of information gathered about the cause of oesophageal atresia, more advanced correctional surgeries have been introduced in the past decade [2]. Survival rates differ immensely between various nations, particularly when comparing developed to developing countries. In certain clinics, with state-of-the-art neonatal care, survival rates of up to 95% has been documented [1]. Surgical methods such as thoracoscopic repair has been improved within the past decade, resulting to a decrease in surgical complications and therefore an increase in survival rates [2].

[1] Paulo Fernando Martins Pinheiro, Ana Cristina Simões e Silva, Regina Maria Pereira Current knowledge on esophageal atresia. World J. Gastroenterol.: 2012, 18(28);3662-72 PubMed 22851858

[2] David C van der Zee, Stefaan H A J Tytgat, Sander Zwaveling, Maud Y A van Herwaarden, Daisy Vieira-Travassos Learning curve of thoracoscopic repair of esophageal atresia. World J Surg: 2012, 36(9);2093-7 PubMed 22584690

--Mark Hill very good discussion of this abnormality. As well as describing the abnormality, you appear to have also spent some time with the layout/formatting here. (5/5)

Assessment Lab 7

Article 1

Fetal Adrenal Gland in the Second Half of Gestation: Morphometric Assessment with 3.0T Post-Mortem MRI

The adrenal gland, a bilateral organ located immediately superior the kidneys, are part of the endocrine system, playing an important role in releasing certain hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in response to various situations including stressful situations. It is said that the adrenal gland is crucial in foetal development and that in comparison to other foetal organs, the foetal adrenal gland is relatively large. The study carried out by Zhonghe et al. quantitatively assessed the length, width, height, surface area and volume of normal foetal adrenal glands.

52 foetal specimens ranging from 23-40 gestation weeks old were the subjects of this experiment. 72 foetal specimen were collected based on parental consent and in accordance with the Ethical Committee at the School of Medicine, Shandong University. Out of the 72 only 52 were utilised as foetuses with known abnormal maternal pregnancy records did not meet the criteria. The 52 subjects were organised in terms of their gestational age, found by measuring their crown-rump length via MRI. A highly advanced MRI scanner, SIEMENNS 3.0T MR scanner, was then employed in this research, measuring the adrenal glands of the foetus in the transverse, coronal and sagittal axis. Post-scanning, four specimens (24, 26, 32 and 36 weeks gestation age) were selected for gross anatomy dissection and measurement.

Upon completing the measurements and gross dissections, Zhonghe et al. found that the bilateral organ was asymmetrical, with the right adrenal gland resembling an irregular triangle or pyramid, whereas the shape of the left adrenal gland was closer to a half-moon and larger than its right counterpart. No significant difference was found between the sexes, in contrast to previous research articles, however Zhonghe et al. attributed this discrepancy on it's relatively small group of specimens and uneven distribution of male and female foetuses. It was also discovered that as the gestational age increases the zona glomerulosa (outer zone of the cortex layer) became thicker.

Zhonghe et al. regard their research and results as valuable in clinical settings and useful reference for the foetal anatomy.

Zhonghe Zhang, Haiwei Meng, Zhongyu Hou, Jun Ma, Lei Feng, Xiangtao Lin, Yuchun Tang, Xiaoli Zhang, Qingwei Liu, Shuwei Liu Fetal adrenal gland in the second half of gestation: morphometrical assessment with 3.0T post-mortem MRI. PLoS ONE: 2013, 8(10);e75511 PubMed 24116052

Tooth Development

Odontogenesis begins in the sixth week of development. The embryonic cells/layers that differentiate to form the developing tooth include:

  • Odontoblasts — mesenchymal neural crest originating cells that secrete predentin, which calcifies to form dentin, the inner layer of the tooth. These cells are present throughout life and continuously produce dentin.
  • Ameloblasts — ectodermal cells of the oral epithelium that produce enamel, the outermost layer in the crown part of the tooth. Only present during odontogenesis.
  • Periodontal ligament — a specialised connective tissue that is in contact with the cementum layer (outer layer in the root of the tooth) and holds the tooth within the alveolar process.

--Mark Hill Good adrenal paper and your tooth information is fine. (5/5)

Assessment Lab 8

Ovary Development

Embryonic female differentiation and development was once perceived as a passive process, simply by the failure of developing male genital organs, however it is shown that this is not the case, with many molecular and genetic prerequisites required to develop the female genital system. [1]

Identical to the testes, the ovaries originate from the mesothelium, the underlying mesenchyme, and primordial germ cells. Within the early embryo, the gonads consists of a mesonephric duct (Wolffian duct), paramesonephric ducts (Mullerian ducts), and the external cortex and internal medulla regions.

Gonadal development begins in the fifth week, medially to the mesonephros. The first structure of the developing gonad is the gonadal ridge. This ridge is formed by the proliferation of the mesenchyme tissue. The proliferating mesenchyme then grow epithelial cords, known as gonadal cords that extend to the developing ovary later on.

The primordial germ cells, undifferentiated sex cells, become visible by day 24 of the embryonic period. The germ cell is relocated to the gonadal ridges during the folding process of the embryo. In the late embryonic phase, the lack of anti-mullerian hormone and testosterone is what beings the differentiation between the male and female genital development. At this point of time the Wolffian duct degenerates but the Mullerian ducts remain, in contrast to the male gonadal development. It is the Mullerian ducts that develop into the internal genital organs, the upper part into the fallopian tubes, and the lower part into the uterus and the vagina. [2]

During the 10th week, the ovaries become recognisable with the gonadal cords extending into the surface of the ovary. It is within this foetal developmental phase, beginning in the 16th week, that the gonadal cords commence degeneration forming primordial oocytes, referred to as oogonium. These oogonia, surrounded by a thin layer of epithelial cells, are the primordial follicles that a formed by mitosis.


Transverse section of the ovary of a fox embryo


  1. Humphrey Hung-Chang Yao The pathway to femaleness: current knowledge on embryonic development of the ovary. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol.: 2005, 230(1-2);87-93 PubMed 15664455
  2. J GASTER Congenital absence of the vagina; surgical correction. Calif Med: 1955, 82(1);39-44 PubMed 13230915

Textbook Moore: The Developing Human Chapter 12

  • Note: Access to UNSW database requires a valid UNSW username and zPass

--Mark Hill Historic image is fine and ovary is reasonable, please use research articles and not textbook sources for assessment items. (4/5)

Assessment Lab 9

Peer review

Group 1 — Respiratory

The introduction is shaping quite well. The information used are all relevant and provide an overall understanding of the respiratory system. It is great how you have divided the system into the two main parts, the conducting zone and respiratory zone, providing information and images for both. With that said, the images contain no caption or any description when clicked on and more work is needed in this area as explaining the images/slides will heighten the educational aim of the project. Furthermore, as Mark Hill has mentioned, you must cover all the components required in uploading and using an image, such as adding the copyright information.

Presenting the lung development stages in a table format is very clever and the table constructed contains valuable information simplifying the developmental stages of the respiratory system. You have gone one step further than the required by showing that development does not only occur embryonically but up to 8 years of age. Good work. In terms of the references in this section, they all seem to be fine, however I am unable to click on the “Lung Development” link, which returns with “object not found.” So please fix that issue as the reader/marker must be able to validate all the references if need be.

The current research section of this project page seems promising with a wide range of information. The foundations and structure are present however more information is required, which I know will be added before final submission. Identical to the introduction, it is good that you have divided the section into subsections based on the current research style and understanding that physiologically the lungs can be divided into the conduction system and functional unit. Numbering and dot points may be used, but I highly recommend that it is not used throughout the whole section. Moreover, your addition of an image highlighting Schematic lung disease and normal vs diseased lung models is appropriate for current research and models, however it should not be placed at the end under the references, you need to find a place between a paragraph that discusses or introduces this model. Lastly, there is a small formatting error in the middle of this section, I assume that is where an image should be located however check if you have written the command correctly.

It is obvious that the historical section is well researched and that a number of articles have been referenced. The use dot points and dates are great and simple to understand, however if you make a timeline and paragraphs, the page might look more professional. You have the information required to create a simple timeline and paragraphs that follow. Great historical images used however the first lacks any description and the second lacks a reference.

A vast range of abnormalities are addressed with references and thorough research into each. Some require more information, but overall all abnormalities are mentioned at a substantial extent with both full sentences and dot points.

Overall this group has provided a well researched project, certain formatting errors need to be addressed and some more information can be added, otherwise good work!

Group 2 — Renal

The introduction successfully touches on the project as a whole, including describing the system and its development, and the abnormalities that may arise. However it has failed to mention the importance of historical and current research. Also adding an image of the renal system or the renal units in particular will heighten the readers interest in this project.

There seems to be no information under the historical findings subheading, it might be hard to find research papers on this system, however a good start would be reading Mark Hill’s page on the renal development.

A very brief developmental timeline, however it does simply provide the information required to understanding the timeframe of renal development. More information about the structures mentioned in this timeline is required, this can be added within the timeline or following it.

The current research model section needs more information, if you are unable to find enough to make a substantial section then a possibility to work around that is to integrate the various research models with the organ sections. However, if more information can be obtained then this section should be left and continued as the image is correctly included and the information is written at a high standard.

The division of this page into the various organs in the renal system, the kidney, urethra, and ureter is clever as providing information on all in one section may be overwhelming. Each of these organs are well researched and written about. The layout looks fine with the paragraphs placed under subheadings and an abundant amount of images are located next to their corresponding information. Some images do not have a description, it is best to add a description, even a short one, to guide the reader and pinpoint the reason for uploading. An error has occurred for the first image under the Kidney section which has been removed by the administrator. Please take care with copyright.

I really like the abnormality section and the information added thus far. It is evident that you plan to continue as this section is not finished, however with what is there, great work. Both images used contain captions and clearly understood descriptions. One fault is the presence of references in this section. The group has one reference heading at the end of the project, however some of the references doubled up within the abnormalities section. One that note, please look carefully through the referencing list as you have the same articles more than once in the list, for example 23 and 24. There is a way of merging them together and having superscripts indicate that this article has been cited more than once, use article 28 and 30 as examples.

Group 3 — Gastrointestinal

The overview is quite short and lacks citations and images, however this is understandable seeing as it is a draft copy, but please make sure the overview informations are cited and images are included. The information uploaded so far is structured based on the division of the gut into fore-gut, mid-gut and hind-gut, and very easy to follow.

An extensive timeline, however the presentation can be improved as this timeline takes a lot of space and consists of a single word or a sentence. Maybe adding more information in the timeline or condensing the timeline in a table format.

I don’t understand the recent findings section as only one research paper has been considered. If more will be added then that is fine however when writing about these findings it’s good to incorporate it with other findings rather than simply summarising the results of one article.

Foregut, midgut and hindgut are well covered including innervations and structures of those areas. A range of format is used such as table, dot point and full paragraphs, which neatly tie all the information together and allows for a break in between paragraphs. Student redrawn images are a great source and you have referenced from where you have obtained the original image. No images are used for the foregut even though you have mentioned a few organs in detail. Furthermore, it is best to keep your formatting consistent as the dot points in the foregut section differs to those in midgut.

Detailed examples of deformities are present in the gastrointestinal system, however more deformities should be looked at and included. Deformities are also mentioned under the subheading of hindgut (Anorectal deformities, cloacal extrophy, and developmental problems), which might be best moved to the deformities block of the project page. This redrawn image is clear and labelled, however there is no reference.

Overall the project page is interesting, easy to comprehend and follow, however certain layout issues should be addressed and more information added.

Group 5 — Integumentary

The introduction covers all the topics of the project, however it does so briefly. Merging the development overview with the introduction will hide the fact that the introduction paragraph is short as this whole section will become one large detailed introduction about the integumentary system. The development overview is detailed and separated in terms of the structures found in the system. This is great, however less dot points should be used as it looks more like notes than presentable information. The creation of this timeline table is amazing and addition of the images according to the weeks is a well generated idea. Not all the images are described, so please do so for the final copy as it is essential that images of histological slides are describes as they can be confusion and difficult to understand. The information about hair and its adjacent image is the scaffold that should be followed throughout the whole section, as it has been written concisely and easily understandable. The hair development stages image is adequately describes and references with the copyright statement. Well done.

I appreciate the uniqueness in the layout of the recent findings, however I find it slightly overwhelming and out of place. Possibly adding a collapse and expand option to each article is beneficial. The summaries of the findings are in-depth and it is obvious that the author of this summary understands the topic.

A great start in historic findings with information present for a wide range of structures in this system. With that said, each section requires more research, however you are on the right path in finding articles greater than 50 years old. Only one image is attempted to be added, it is hard to find copyright granted images or historical drawings, but redrawing those original images is vital in providing solid historical information. In terms of the referencing, if you are unable to find a PMID for a certain article then manually add the reference and the URL link as you have but adhere to correct formatting.

Each abnormality is consistent with detailed information, statistics and a described image. The writing style is consistent and the image uploads with captions are correctly completed. Great work. The information is frequently cited emphasising efficient research ability. On that note, the references are correctly numbered and superscripts used instead of repeating the reference.

Group 6 — Endocrine

An introduction has not yet been added, however when doing so aim to mention the gist of the project and the manner in which is has been divided so that the reader/marker can effectively understand what is in this project. The wikipage is separated into the numerous endocrine organs, which is great as a future student can easily navigate to the organ of interest.

As it is only a draft copy it is assumed that improvement and adding of information will take place leading to the submission of the final as there are subheadings such as “Recent findings” that have been left blank. With what is currently present, each organ contains well researched information. In the beginning two organs, the pineal gland and hypothalamus, there is a subheading for abnormalities, however there is also a section towards the end of the wikipage solely for abnormalities, so refrain from doubling up on the information and either place all the abnormalities in one section or separate the malformations in terms of their respective structure. References are also seen at the end of each section or subsection and no in-text citation has been used yet, so it might be easier to cite the dot points or information as you go so you can remember where you got that from instead of trying to find that piece in the numerous research articles you have. Once that has been done, it will be best to relocate all the references at the end of the page, where you have already made the heading.

The structure is consistent throughout the page with each organ having a timeline and most containing an image and a table. This makes the project appealing and easy to read and understand. All the images uploaded contain comprehensive information and thus I am able to decipher the image and as a result enriches the learning aims of this assignment. The creation of a timeline for each organ is clever as each exhibits its own developmental process. The separation into many smaller timelines allows for specific events to be included that would otherwise overload a collective timeline. The setup of a table under the organisation of hormone, cells and function further simplifies an extremely complicated developmental system. As a student learning about the endocrine system I would be relieved to discover tables and content of this standard and structure.

Group 7 — Neural (CNS)

Solid introduction, it is well conveyed and divided into the two main organs of the CNS, the brain and the spinal cord. You have not just listed the two organs but also introduced both individually, describing their components and functions. Nice work.

The layout of this page is well thought through as you it begins with the overall neural development in the foetal period, then delves into the development of the two main organs, firstly the brain development, followed by the spinal cord development. This makes the project easy to understand as it is well organised. Within each subsection there has been images uploaded and tables added in addition to the information in both paragraph and dot point format. Majority of the images uploaded contain a description as well as the caption, however some descriptions require more to help clarify the image and for some no description is present, such as the image of the newborn with a giant occipital encephalocele. All have a caption, however I recommend you change the formatting of the image so that the caption is location just under the image and not within the text as you have done.

A timeline of neural development is added at the beginning in the form of a drawing and another timeline, more specific to sulcation and gyration, is added under brain development. These are great to use as it collaborates all the information into a clear and comprehensive piece.

The spinal cord development and meninges development lack information at this stage, so when filling up this section, it will be best to ensure you are consistent with the formatting and follow what has been used in the brain development section. Add as many tables, timelines and images as possible as this simplifies the information and enriches the page in terms of interest and completing the objectives of this assignment. The same goes for current research models and findings, I can see you have many references ready to be used and that this section has a lot of information. So that the project does not become overwhelming, it is not necessary to summarise or present all the findings, but only chose the most important and influential. You can also merge some research together if they focus on similar or identical concepts.

The abnormalities section is shaping up well. You have included many abnormalities that can occur in this system, so if you are able to write about each and include an image, then that will be great. Possibly refrain from writing it all in dot points, but that could only be the case because it is a draft copy. There is an error in an image uploaded about the facial characteristics associated with foetal alcohol syndrome. It returns with permission error so before uploading ensure that you are not breaching any copyright laws. You may even draw it or find another image similar that allows you to use it.

Listing all the references at the end of the page is a great idea. Some references are listed more than once because you have cited them in more than one place throughout the assignment. Such examples are 7 and 8, and 9 and 10. There is a command that allows you to use superscript where the one reference is listed with many superscripts, each corresponding to the different areas in which you have cited that article.

Group 8 — Musculoskeletal

The Making Gains section is quite funny but as you said, this is not Broscience and I’m sure it will be removed for the final submission. Once that is removed, begin the project with an introduction and the developmental general timeline. The main idea of the timeline is present, however when constructing one, use specific weeks within the foetal period and what developmental changes occur in those weeks. The information found under Background Embryonic development may be used to form the introduction, but if you are going to do that do not make the introduction as detailed as this section is, particularly in terms of the transcription factors and signalling molecules, they can be moved and added into the other sections that look at the various musculoskeletal developments individually.

It is evident that there is great understanding of this topic and that it is only a case of further research and addition of those information to complete the sections. Certain sections lack information all together, such as the Third Trimester Muscular development and Recent findings, whereas other sections only contain the research articles and no summaries of them such as Abnormalities. However I understand this is a draft and that all those areas will be addressed adequately, contributing to the final copy.

Only the Background Embryonic development and Molecular and Cellular regulation of foetal myogenesis have in text citations, whereas the other sections that do contain information are not cited. It might become difficult to later find the correct article from which you obtained the information so it is advised to cite the text while adding it. In terms of the citations present, there is no need for a comma between the superscripts and you have also allocated two sections to references, one subsequent to Abnormalities and another at the bottom of the page, it is best to collate all the references in one list at the end of the page. This is also the case for Abnormalities as there are two subheadings for it, merge them into one.

No images, tables, or timelines are added. The information you have now is well written and divided into small paragraphs, which is a good way of presenting the information, however other forms such as images and tables should be used. A timeline should be added under the Muscle development General Timeline subheading, this may be done as a table or a drawing and uploaded as it simplifies the information and breaks the page from continuous writing.

Overall this group project page is great, containing all the headings and articles present. It is only a matter of summarising those articles and adding the information. All the information present thus far is appropriate and emphasises great research skills.

--Mark Hill Historic image is fine and ovary is reasonable. (4/5) This is very good (10/10)

Assessment Lab 10

Neural crest contribution to lingual mesenchyme, epithelium and developing taste papillae and taste buds

The study by Liu et al. aimed to discover if neural-crest derived cells contribute to the tongue mesenchyme and epithelium including taste papillae and taste buds. To test this, they utilised tissues from four different transgenic mice, separated by Cre recombinase enzyme, Wnt1-Cre and P0-Cre, and further divided into two reporter lines, R26R lacZ and ZEG double reporter, producing four unique mouse lines (Wnt1-Cre/R26R, Wnt1-Cre/ZEG, P0-Cre/R26R and P0-Cre/ZEG). This then allowed Liu and his colleagues to quantitatively examine the expression of all the papillae, as previous research indicated that some of the papillae contain a distinct test array and require a different method of analysis.

The mice population consisted of embryonic and postnatal mice, up to 10 days old, with their litter collected and genotyped via polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A control group was included with their litter also collected. Various experiments were carried out to test for the four types of lingual papillae; fungiform, filiform, foliate and circumvallate.

X-Gal staining and labelling was used to test for fungiform papillae in the P0-Cre/R26R mouse tongue. The taste buds were then divided into three categories based on their expression rate under light microscopy. Immunohistochemistry was also employed in this study, with slides treated with primary and secondary antibodies to illicit an immunoreaction that could be quantitatively recorded.

The embryonic mice sample and the newborn mice (P1) that were treated with Wnt1-Cre were examined for the location of the neural crest-derived cells. Upon completion, it was found that the neural crest-derived cells were primarily located in the lingual mesenchyme of both the embryonic and postnatal mice, however it was shown that as the tongue develops, the cells become more localised, immediately under the lingual epithelium. This was uniform with the findings on the tongues of the Wnt1-Cre/ZEG type mice, and thus Liu et al. concluded that these neural crest-derived cells are abundant within the papilla mesenchyme and in the core of the taste papillae. However, a different conclusion was reached for the tongue epithelium of the Wnt1-Cre type population, where these neural crest-derived cells were rarely found.

The fungiform papillae were tested in the P0-Cre line mice. The distribution pattern of the neural crest-derived cells in the mesenchyme was similar to that in the Wnt1-Cre samples. A different result, however, was obtained for the epithelium, as the desired cells were found to be located in the epithelium and the taste buds of the tongue, indicating that neural crest-cells contributed greatly to the fungiform papillae.

Antibodies were added into samples of developed tongues and no Cre immunoreactivity took place in those tissues, highlighting the validity of the study in tracing the cell lineage and removing doubts that ectopic Cre activity was in fact responsible for the results and not true P0-expressing cells.

Base on their findings, Liu et al. proposed that neural crest cell from the neural tube migrate to the developing tongue mesenchyme and epithelium. They further explained that subsequent to migration into the epithelium, these cells acquire different phenotypes and differentiate into taste papillae. The taste papillae interact with the neural crest-derived cells that remain in the mesenchyme, which have roles in the development and maintenance of the taste papillae.

Hong-Xiang Liu, Yoshihiro Komatsu, Yuji Mishina, Charlotte M Mistretta Neural crest contribution to lingual mesenchyme, epithelium and developing taste papillae and taste buds. Dev. Biol.: 2012, 368(2);294-303 PubMed 22659543

--Mark Hill Very good (5/5)

Assessment Lab 11

Human iPS cell-engineered cardiac tissue sheets with cardiomyocytes and vascular cells for cardiac regeneration

The research carried out by Masumoto et al. aimed to simultaneously induce cardiomyocytes and vascular cells, and generate human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-engineered cardiovascular cell sheets. They hypothesised that a sheet of this sort can be therapeutically beneficial to patients with infarcted hearts.

hiPSC was collected and established in a culture. Masumoto et al. used this type of stem cell because they were interested in its ability to continuously expand and efficiency in differentiate into most somatic cells lineages. These cells later underwent cardiovascular cell differentiation, forming cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and mural cells (vascular smooth muscle cells and pericytes), and further incubated.

Male athymic nude rats, between the ages of 10-13 weeks were used in this study. Myocardial infarction was induced in all the rats. The subjects were then divided into two random groups, one group receiving the true cell sheets in transplant, the Tx group, and the other undergoing a sham-operation, the sham group. The translation took place 1 week after induced myocardial infarction, known as the “sub-acute phase”.

The stem-cell graft was made by pilling 3 sheets together and then transplanted into the infarcted hearts of the Tx group rats. Upon concluding, Masumoto et al. found a significant improvement in the cardiac function of the rat population in the Tx group. Upon check-up at the 4th week post-surgery, they found presence of cardiomyocytes in more than 40% of the transplanted rats, therefore highlighting the importance of hiPSC-CTSs in cardiac regenerative therapy.

Hidetoshi Masumoto, Takeshi Ikuno, Masafumi Takeda, Hiroyuki Fukushima, Akira Marui, Shiori Katayama, Tatsuya Shimizu, Tadashi Ikeda, Teruo Okano, Ryuzo Sakata, Jun K Yamashita Human iPS cell-engineered cardiac tissue sheets with cardiomyocytes and vascular cells for cardiac regeneration. Sci Rep: 2014, 4;6716 PubMed 25336194

--Mark Hill (5/5)