From Embryology

Lab 11 Assessment

1. A recent research article on iPS cells and the main findings of the paper.

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

The leading cause of death continues to be Cardiovascular disease, there has been a significant amount of research into treatment and the use of different therapies. A key breakthrough has been the research into stem cells and stratergies in regards to regenerative therapy with the use of these cells. There are two types including embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Both these cells have great potential for cardiac regeneration. Over time many obstacles have emerged that have proved to be difficult for the development to proceed and to be clinically utalised.

The article presented concentrates on induce pluripotent stem cells and the use in cardiac rgeneration. In order to find a technique to regenerate cardiac tissue with the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), a series of methods including tissue engineering and transplatation, and cell preparation need to be discovered. This research article focused on generating hiPSC engineered cardiovascular cell sheets using a new protocol that applies cardiomyocytes (CMs) and vascular cells. These could be promising therapeutic effects among infracted hearts and cardiac regeneration. Physcially intergrated cardiac tissue sheets (hiPSC-CTS) were produced with the cell sheet technology. Improved cardiac functioning was seen in the transplantation of hiPSC-CTS to infracted hearts among rats. The aim was to show that a high potential in cardiac tissue sheets generated from iPSCs could improve cardiac deterioration that precedes myocardial infarction.

The methods that were applied involved a cell- sheet system with the use of a grafted culture surface using a polymer that is temperature responsive. In their previous study with rats, the findings have assisted the development and procedures of this study. Form the observations made it was noted that in order for stem cell based cardiac regeneration to take place, it is important for a co-existence and interaction to occur between CMs and non-monocytes. It was deducted that before such methods are clinically applied, proarrhythmic potentials of iPSC-CTS transplantation need to be evaluated.

In the future iPSCs need to be generated securely with the assurance of minor risks in the possible formation of tumors. This would need to be looked into more carefully prior to any cardiac cell therapy using iPSCs in humans. With these considerations in mind, such therapies could be implemented shortly. The study was able to demonstrate positive results and thus proved that cardiac regeneration proceeding myocardial infarction could be treated with hiPSCS-derived from cardiac tissue sheet transplantation.

--Mark Hill Very good, several students have used this same paper. (5/5)

Lab 10 Assessment

1. Research paper on sensory-taste development the research methods and findings.

Da Fei, Tao Huang, Robin F Krimm The neurotrophin receptor p75 regulates gustatory axon branching and promotes innervation of the tongue during development. Neural Dev: 2014, 9;15 PubMed 24961238

During development specific regions of the tongue are innervated by axons from gustatory neurons of the geniculate ganglion. The guidance of these axons is controlled by molecular cues in the environment through specific pathways. A number of neurons innervate each taste bud, which are controlled by molecular factors including neurotrophins. Gustatory neurons are regulated by brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF), that are manufactured among developing taste papillae and involved in axon guidance. Additionally survival of gustatory neurons is also regulated by Neurotrophin-4 (NT4). These neurotrophins have different functions, both control taste system development and act via the same receptors tyrosine kinase (TrkB) and pan-neurotrophic (p75). The aim of this research article was to observe the neurotrophin receptor p75 and its role in the development of the taste system. The investigation focused on whether p75 is necessary for neuron survival, geniculate ganglion axon guidance and sustaining taste buds throughout embryonic development. A comparison was made between wild type and mutant (p75-/-) mice, tongue innervation patterns and numbers where observed among geniculate ganglion neurons and taste buds.

The methods involved a series of processes including the quantification of geniculate ganglion neurons. Mice were bred for the purpose of this experiment, this involved breeding heterozygous TrkB+/- and p75+/- mice to produce p75-/- and TrkB-/-/p75-/-. Each set of ganglion neurons were labelled according to embryonic days. Ice cold phosphate-buffered paraformaldehyde was used to transcardially perfuse the embryos and then they were post-fixed overnight. The geniculate ganglion neurons were visualised using TUJ-1 antibody and following were a series of other procedures. After this the taste bud quantification was also measured, this involved a series of procedures including OCT medium embedding of tongues, gustatory nerves and taste buds were labelled using anti-cytokeratin 8 and anti-P2X3 antibodes. The volumes of these labelling antibodies were divided to calculate the taste bud volume percentage occupied by innervation. Finally the geniculate ganglia was dil-labelle, using a series of specific processes.

The regulation in the survival of gustatory neurons, axon growth and branching and innervation of taste buds during development are all controlled by brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT4). The p75 receptor for BDNF and NT4 is investigated in regards to taste system development. It was found that innervation of the tongues surface is disrupted during development when p75 is removed. In 75-/- mice the mid region of the tongue was not innervated by the peripheral axons and they also branched less as a result of the deletion of the receptor. Taste buds were lost due to the decrease in tongue surface innervation, as 80% of the remainng taste buds we innervated in p75-/- mice. Therefore it is noted that p75 doesn’t facilitate the role of BDNF in axon guidance. The findings show that p75 doesn’t control BDNF/ NT4 function or a role in gustatory neuron survival, however it does regulate geniculate ganglion axon branching and promotes tongue innervation. Finally it is concluded that additional receptors not involving TrkB and p75 regulate gustatory development.

2. Link to the relevant wiki sensory notes page

Lab 9 Assessment

Critical assessment of Group Project Pages

Group 1 Respiratory

Well explained introduction and the histological images provided are great. In the first section the addition of in text citations would be useful. The content is explained really well and a good use of detail in the paragraphs is not too overwhelming. Good use of formatting with the inclusion of the table, helps to keep the content clear and concise. The current research, findings and models is present really well, good use of referencing and in text citations. Current findings, models and research is presented really well, good use of referencing and in text citations. Information is clear and with sufficient detail. There are a variety of formatting techniques used which is great to see. Good use of images, however seems to be missing info, suggest filling it out and maybe fixing some of the formatting errors shown but otherwise really well done. This section shows a good amount of research conducted. The historic findings are also well presented, the use of dot points to format the info is very useful and provides clarity. A timeline for the key historic dates might be helpful and another use of visuals. Great to see a variety of abnormalities, shows an extensive research really well presented. Would be great to see more images for this section and maybe drawings too.

This group overall has done really well, there are only a couple of suggestions for the page to be complete these include filling in the missing info under the sub heading ‘current models’. The in text citations and referencing in the first section should be added in to avoid losing marks. Also try adding captions to some of the images, a brief description of what the image is showing. Evidently the research conducted has been quite extensive and the group has worked well to ensure all parts are completed equally. Overall the page is structured really well and organized in an understandable manner. The use of a variety of images and formatting techniques is really great. Just a few minor adjustments and this page will be really great. Great work everyone!

Group 2 Renal

At the first scroll of this page it already seemed completely sufficiently. The structural layout is done really well and it’s good to see that it’s done according to the advised sub headings. The introduction is really well done, provides a great explanation into renal development, an abundant overview of the whole page and topics that will be addressed. The info for ‘historic findings’ seems to be lacking content, might be useful to search under the “Explore” tab on the left had side of the embryo page, clicking on the sub heading ‘historic embryo’. Also a useful source is the unsw library as it spans a longer period of time and following the unsw search then research the article in the pubmed site. Might be nice to format a proper timeline or use a table. The ‘current research models’ section is done really well with an abundant amount of detail in each study presented and good use of images. The use of a descriptive caption under each image is done proficiently, it is nice to see that each section has incorporated some form of visual whether histological or from research studies. The ‘kidney’ section is structured really well, the use of the content under early development is unnecessarily but is useful in introducing the stage prior to fetal development. Under the’ anatomical position’ sub heading the in text citations need to be adjusted. For references that are not pubmed use this format; [1]. Also the image provided will most likely need to be deleted and then drawn, as we are not allowed to use images directly from textbooks. Just re draw the image if you can and then upload it as you would with any other image. Another suggestion for each of the corresponding organs in renal development, try to format some of the content into dot points or tables so not all lengthy paragraphs. Also noticed one of the images doesn’t have a caption this being under the urethra section. Very well detailed info on the abnormalities, would suggest to add a few more to be completely sufficient.

Lastly, the page has been completed to a high standard in the completion of all the info provided and subsequent images among each section. A few things have been noted, and there are only a few minor modifications that will need to be made these includes; referencing and some formatting as mentioned previously. The use of in text citations throughout the whole page is done efficiently, try to just try keep your references under one main heading. There is great effort noted in the research accumulated so far through the long list of references used to gather the info. Fantastic work everyone, keep up the great work !

Group 3 Gastrointestinal

This project page has thus far been completed with good effort. The introduction is a good detailed description of the gastrointestinal system consisting of all the corresponding organs. Good to see a timeline of all the events, might be useful to format this into a table since it is so extensive. The ‘recent finding’ section is done well, will however need more info maybe including other studies. Try to look through the GIT development lecture content, there may be some more studies mentioned and these could also refer to others. The ‘foregut’ section is really well detailed and easy to understand, although it would be nice to see some images, drawings or even tables as done in the ‘midgut’ section. The ‘midgut’ section is great, in its formatting, info, visuals and citations, and the drawings in particular are a really good effort. It would be great if you could try to re-upload the drawings, as it is hard to see some of the labeled structures clearly. In the section describing the ‘hindgut’ there is a good use of in text citations, just be careful as some parts don’t have them so they may need to be added. Also there are some minor formatting adjustments that may need to be made with some of the dot points. Lastly the ‘deformities’ section is done well, easily understandable and a good structural layout. Might want to add a few more, maybe the ‘Anorectal deformities’ sub heading could be moved into the big ‘deformities’ heading.

Finally this page is done well considering there are a number of sections that have to be covered. Some suggestions that could be helpful include; adding an additional heading for historic findings which is listed in our assessment criteria. To help find info for this try to search under the “Explore” tab on the left had side of the embryo page, clicking on the sub heading ‘historic embryo’. Also a useful source is the unsw library as it spans a longer period of time and following the unsw search then research the article in the pubmed site. For the in text citations try to add them after the content rather than before as it’s not clear which parts are from certain references that have been found. Adding some more images especially in the ‘deformities’ section would be good to see. There are only a few minor changes that may need to be addressed. Otherwise you just need to do a little more research to complete the page. So far good work everyone, keep it up. Good luck :)

Group 5 Integumentary

This page is laid out really well in its organization of each heading and then corresponding subheadings. A well-developed introduction, clearly establishes what will be covered. The development overview is written really well and images are incorporated adequately. The use of a table with images is really good effort, might consider using it on our group page. Try to be more consistent with the formatting in each subsequent component of the overviews, e.g the ‘nails’ are dot points but then the ‘teeth’ section is a paragraph. This is just a minor observation that could be changed later.

The in text citations seem to be only in some parts of the page, this could be due to the reference not being a pubmed site. Here are some tips that may be helpful with referencing; for the pubmed sites it’s the following format [2] and then for all others its [3]. Then after those are inserted, add an additional referencing heading and under it write
  1. insert source
  2. nsertsource
(see these in edit mode).

The ‘recent findings’ section is written well, with in depth detail, might want to consider using a few dot points to avoid lengthy paragraphs. Once this section is completely filled with info, it will prove to be really great as it seems a lot of research has been carried out here. There seem to be more referencing issues and the lack of in text citations, try to fix these with the use of the formatting mentioned above. A well written section on ‘historic findings’, again the use of formatting would complete this part. The abnormalities section is done exceptionally well as the cause, risk and management has all been covered. The in text citations are used well as well as the structure of the paragraphs. Some confronting images but well done for finding them for each abnormality, consider adding a few more abnormalities and this will be a really great section.

Finally the work that has been conducted so far is really well done, there are minor adjustments in regards to formatting, referencing and the in text citations. Once these are completed it will look really great. Also some of the sections seems to have info missing, however once this is all filled out it will be sufficient. Good work so far everyone , keep it up and good luck completing the rest of it ☺.

Group 6 Endocrine

The page is set out really well especially since the endocrine development covers so many organs. It’s a nice clear and concise way of structuring the page. Each particular organ is addressed really well. There is good consistency with each one on the page that is great. The page contains a sufficient about of content and detail in the info for each section of an organ addressed. It is good to see the use of tables and some dot point formatting which always helps to keep the content clear. There are parts in each section that are missing info these include the abnormalities and tables. The use of images with captions containing well detailed descriptions are also constant under each section. Some suggestions to consider include adding more info to the abnormalities would be great. Focusing on discussing what each abnormality is, how it’s contracted, statistics and then treatment. Throughout the whole page in text citations have not been used at all which should be included, especially when research studies are mentioned. A way to assist with this is to use the following format; for pubmed [1] and then for other references [2] (see these in edit mode) . Then after those are inserted, add an additional referencing heading and under it write
  1. insert source

Overall the page does not need too many changes, just a few adjustments mostly with formatting and references. Then some sections need a little bit more info to be completed. An introduction would also be a great way to provide an overview of the content that will be covered since there is a lot discussed. So far it can be seen that a great deal of research has been conducted. It’s also understandable that not all sections are completed just yet as this is a pretty lengthy system. Try to also incorporate some graphs, drawings and even video’s, they are a great visual aids. Keep up the good and the page will be really great, good luck :).

Group 7 Neural

This group page shows a good amount of work completed however there are quite a few sections that clearly still need some more info. A good introduction to the neural development and a accurate description of what will be covered. Although it seems to be missing the in text citations. The section on ‘development during fetal period’ is presented clearly and structured really well. The info is not too overwhelming and the use of dot points for this section is great as neural development is quite complex. There’s a good identification of images and the use of in text citations. The brain development section is written really well with enough detail and it’s nice to see a table for the timeline of changes during each week. It does however seem to be a bit short, maybe that’s because it’s all in dot point form. It would be useful if the ‘brain, spinal cord and meninges development’ were combined under one heading, this might be a better way to structure it. Otherwise just keep each section separate but format the info into paragraph form. In the ‘current research’ section a thorough amount of info was provided. It seems as though it hasn’t been finished and more info will be added later that will be great. The abnormalities content is sufficient and well organised. Just consider using more in text citations in this section, add some more images and complete all the sub headings.

Finally a good effort in this project page, it is structured well and the info provided is easy to understand. However it needs some more research and content to fill all the sub headings in order for it to be finished. Some suggestions that may be considered include; having all the references under one main heading at the end of the page. The use of more in text citations in some of the paragraphs throughout the whole page would be effective. There is an adequately amount of images already shown, so maybe the use of videos or drawings would also be good especially in the abnormalities section and current research. The key is to focus on filing the info and then just making a few adjustments in terms of formatting. Otherwise the page is set out well , just needs a little more work. The page will look really great once completed. Good luck :).

Group 8 Musculoskeletal

Overall the Group project page seems to be set out quite well with its headings and sub headings. Just needs a bit more info for some of the sub headings particularly from ‘second trimester muscular development’ onwards and a few formatting adjustments. The use of timelines, tables and dot points might help in those sections. The content provided is written well and in a detailed manner, which is still understood. There is a significant amount of research presented and this is seen through the in text citations and then further identified in the reference list. A good use of referencing is seen supporting the content info provided. The content uses examples of past and current research to help develop and establish ideas that are presented well. The abnormalities section on ‘Duchenne muscular dystrophy’ is described really well, maybe other abnormalities could also be added later.

To improve the page some suggestions include the use of diagrams and images, would help to add a bit more vibrancy to the page. Images and drawings are a great way to help in understanding the content. They are also a great way to make the content clearer especially if there are a number of processes involved in the development. Some of the longer paragraphs of content may also be formatted into dot points just to avoid lengthy paragraphs of info. It might also be useful to include some of the headings mentioned on the assessment page (identify current research models and findings, historic findings etc.). Finally, the page so far is done well however it will need a little bit more work to be completely finished. Try to just gather as much info as you can to ensure you have enough content and then add images and any other visual aids later. Keep up the good work and good luck :).

--Mark Hill You have prepared a reasonable critical assessment of peer projects. (9/10)

Lab 8 Assessment

1. Brief time course and overview of embryonic development of the human ovary.

  • There are a series of stages in ovarian development these include; germ cell differentiation, continuous follicular growth and continuous follicular atresia
  • At the early stages of development the gonads are the same in both sexes, the gonadal ridge forms into the ovary
  • The essential genes for the process of ovarian development to occur include Wnt-4 and DAX-1
  • Granulosa cells are the cells that provide support in females and the follicle cells are located around the occytes
  • Follicle cells undergo proliferation as a result of follicular stimulating hormone among adult cells
  • Following ovulation the cells turn into luteal cells in the corpus luteum that secretes hormones estrogen and progesterone
  • Theca cells are involved in secreting androstenedione, which has the ability to change follicle cells into estrogens. These cells are located outside the follicle granulosa cells.
  • Primordial germ cells during early gastrulation are the first to move via the primitive streak. The hindgut yolk sac junction is where these cells reside. During early development they move to the genital ridge.
  • The ovaries are suspended in the broad ligament, at first they are shifted caudally and laterally
  • The gubernaculum cause the pelvis to move medially as it attaches to the paramesonephric ducts, it is not condensed
  • Some essential hormones in the female reproductive system include gonadotropin-releasing hormone, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone

Week 3-4 -----------> At the stage of gastrulation primordial germs cells move

Week 4 -----------> Development of the intermediate mesoderm and pronephros primordium occurs

Week 5 -----------> Mesonephros forms tubules with the aid of the mesonephric duct

Week 6 -----------> Formation of the Uteric bud, metanephros (becomes kidney), genital ridge

Week 7 -----------> Separation process in cloaca, gonadal primordium

Week 8 -----------> Formation of Mullerian ducts (which later develop into the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and a third of the vagina. Gonadal differentiation is apparent

Week 9 -----------> The fusion of the paramesonephric duct occurs so the uterus is developed

Week 15 -----------> Primary follicles are developed which establish the ovary

2. An image from the historic genital embryology section of the online notes in your description.

A historical image of the ovary

Found form


--Mark Hill You have simply used the existing online resource rather than a research article or review article for the source of your summary. I also asked for just the embryonic period. Historic image is fine. (4/5)

Lab 7 Assessment

1. Recent research paper on the development of the Pancreas

The pancreas has two main functions, exocrine involving digestive enzymes and endocrine regulating glucose levels within the blood. There are 3 main stages of development in the pancreas. The primary stage involves initiation of morphogenesis with endodermal evagination[1] . Epithelial branching morphogenesis is the secondary stage; in which the basement membrane, differentiating islet progenitors delaminate. Finally at the apices of ductal structures, the formation of acinar cells is commenced. Throughout those stages specific waves of segregation occur with amplication to the endocrine compartment.

The increase in pancreatic endocrine cell population arise at embryonic and pancreatic post-natal growth and regeneraition. There is not much knowledge in the mechanism in endocrine cell expansion throughout the embryonic development. The study concluded through the investigation, that regulating pancreatic endocrine maturation and development is affected by the growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling. It is claimed that the process is mediated through the intracellular mediators of TGF- β signaling smad2, smad3 and smad7 expressed during early embryonic pancreatic epithelium. During genetic inactivation two events occur among the intracellular mediators, the smad2 and smad3 increase embryonic endocrine compartment whereas smad7 decrease in embryonic endocrine compartment[1].

From the results the function of smad7 was noted, showing that’s its important in differentiation and maturation of developmental endocrine. The suppression of smad2 &3 was identified as being regulated by smad7 due to their role in expansion of the pancreatic endocrine compartment. This knowledge highlights the mechanisms controlling β-cell development and also shows a connection among replication of pancreatic islets and developmental neogenesis of β-cell development [1]. Thus the study illustrated a regulatory point for β- cell expansion among a smad2, 3 & 7 complex. Such finds could have an effective impact on diabetes treatment, through the generation of β-cells and a target in regulating the cells proliferation.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Yousef El-Gohary, Sidhartha Tulachan, Ping Guo, Carey Welsh, John Wiersch, Krishna Prasadan, Jose Paredes, Chiyo Shiota, Xiangwei Xiao, Yoko Wada, Marilyn Diaz, George Gittes Smad signaling pathways regulate pancreatic endocrine development. Dev. Biol.: 2013, 378(2);83-93 PubMed 23603491

2. Embryonic layers and tissues that contribute to the developing teeth

  • Stages include week 6- lamina, week 7- placode, week-8 bud, week 11- cap, week 14- bell
  • Contributions from neural crest mesenchyme, ectoderm and mesoderm
  • Odontoblasts (secretion of predentin, calcifies for the formation of dentin)
  • Ameloblasts (production of enamel)
  • Periodontal ligament (CT , supports tooth, contains 'Sharpey’s fibers')

--Mark Hill Pancreas paper is relevant and summarised well. Yes but for tooth origins you have not matched the layers to the cell types. (3/5)

Lab 5 Assessment

Congenital Diaphragmatic hernia

A congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) takes place when the diaphragm muscle is unable to close completely during embryo development. As a result the pleuroperitoneal foramen ‘Bochdalek’ (70-75%, posteriorly) fails to seal. That’s the most common hernia, although it may also occur anteriorly (23-28%) with the foramen of ‘Morgagni’. Therefore any contents of the abdominal viscera; such as the stomach, intestines, spleen or liver can pass through the thoracic cavity while constricting the lung. Due to this the lungs don’t have a large capacity to grow so their development is limited. This can lead to pulmonary hypoplasia or hypertension with further complications also arising. The incidence of CDH is 1-5:1000 births [1] , it’s a little more common in males.

In the development of the embryo the diaphragm forms during week 8 – 10, it is developed from several components; septum transversum, 3rd and 5th somite, ventral pleural sac, oesophageal mesentery and peritoneal membranes. The diaphragm is innervated by the phrenic nerve which branches of from C3-C5 nerves. The septum transversum anteriorly merges with the oesophageal mesentesry posteriorly connected by the pleuroperitoneal membrane in between them. CDH predominately occurs due to a failure in the fusion process and in past research clinical, genetic and experimental data has shown that during organogenesis there may be disturbances in the retinoid signaling pathway.

To manage the abnormality frequent ultrasonography is performed to observe any further changes throughout development. Prenatal treatments are limited as they can be invasive however there are several that have been developed. There are interuterine processes to allow progress in the lung development. A common strategy is the fetoscopic tracheal occlusion (FETO), involves stimulating the lungs to grow following the closure of the trachea. Postnatal treatment involves ensuring incubation, initiating mechanical ventilation with small volume, high frequency and reduced peak pressure. Attempts are made to repair the diaphragm surgically once cardio-respiratory functions are constant. An early diagnosis is always preferred to ensure prenatal and postnatal management can occur effectively.


  1. Juan A Tovar Congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Orphanet J Rare Dis: 2012, 7;1 PubMed 22214468

François Varlet, Frantz Bousquet, Alix Clemenson, Céline Chauleur, Nathalie Kopp-Dutour, Mireille Tronchet, Georges Teyssier, Fabienne Prieur, Marie-Noëlle Varlet Congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Two cases with early prenatal diagnosis and increased nuchal translucency. Fetal. Diagn. Ther.: 2003, 18(1);33-5 PubMed 12566773


--Mark Hill Very good summary (5/5)

Lab 4 Assessment

1. Paper on cord stem cells and it's findings

Kristin Klose, Rajika Roy, Andreja Brodarac, Andreas Kurtz, Andrea Ode, Kyung-Sun Kang, Karen Bieback, Yeong-Hoon Choi, Christof Stamm Impact of heart failure on the behavior of human neonatal stem cells in vitro. J Transl Med: 2013, 11;236 PubMed 24074138

The paper investigates the nature of neonatal cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (CB-MSC) in the presence of serum, in patients who suffer from advanced heart failure. There are limitations in the capacity of regeneration for patients with heart failure, when using stem cells this is due to age and disease. The previous use of autologous somatic stem cells in cardiac cell therapy has had limitations, an alternative is juvenile cells which could potentially be more effective. There is some debate whether these juvenile cells would have the capacity to survive transplantation into a failing heart. Since juvenile MSC’s are inhibited in proliferation and their ability to clone as a result of the condition.

It was important to prove that in vitro neonatal cord blood mysenchymal stem cells could be functionally impaired by heart failure serum factors. The study was conducted among healthy volunteers and patients with heart failure, where human serum was required. Through the utilisation of TNF-a and IL-6 measures, the systemic quality of heart failure in sera was verified. The cultivated healthy CB-MSC from neonates were supplemented with protein-normalized human heart failure or control serum. The results illustrated that there was an increase cytokine concentration in heart failure sera, basic MSC properties were sustained when CB-MSC was under heart failure serum conditions. A significant decrease in clonogenic cells occurred with fewer colonies.

A possible treatment option for those who have heart failure is cardiac cell therapy that is still being considered. However it has been difficult to develop new treatments as most studies have been conducted on animals. Therapy in humans based on a cellular level hasn’t depicted major progress in the functioning of the heart. In conclusion the study demonstrated that CB- MSC’s biology is impacted upon through heart disease. This was depicted through the results in proliferation characteristics, stimulation of apoptosis and activation of stress signaling pathways. Furthermore in the experimental process it was found that MSC’s in serum from patients exhibiting heart failure, inhibits the cells proliferation. Future findings could establish specific cell therapies to each patient’s unique response.

2. Developmental Vascular shunts include;

  • Ductus arteriosus, within the aortic arch, blood vessel connects aorta with the pulmonary artery
  • Foramen ovale becomes fossa ovalis, located in the heart, in the septum of the atrium, allows blood to flow between the chambers
  • Ductus venosus becomes the ligamentum venosum, located in the liver, connects the inferior vena cava to the umbilical vein

--Mark Hill Very good, these clinical studies though are hard to interpret. Shunts are correct. (4/5)

Lab 3 Assessment

Genital Abnormalities

--Z3417458 (talk) 21:01, 26 August 2014 (EST)

< Dagmar Wilhelm, Jennifer X Yang, Paul Thomas Mammalian sex determination and gonad development. Curr. Top. Dev. Biol.: 2013, 106;89-121 PubMed 24290348


< Carole Chedane, Hugues Puissant, Dominique Weil, Stéphanie Rouleau, Régis Coutant Association between altered placental human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) production and the occurrence of cryptorchidism: a retrospective study. BMC Pediatr: 2014, 14;191 PubMed 25064170


< I A Hughes, Y Morel, K McElreavey, A Rogol Biological assessment of abnormal genitalia. J Pediatr Urol: 2012, 8(6);592-6 PubMed 23168057


A review on spermatogenesis and cyptorchidism a common in males, results in an absence of testes either one or both.

< Giovanni Cobellis, Carmine Noviello, Fabiano Nino, Mercedes Romano, Francesca Mariscoli, Ascanio Martino, Pio Parmeggiani, Alfonso Papparella Spermatogenesis and cryptorchidism. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne): 2014, 5;63 PubMed 24829558


--Mark Hill These are all relevant references, and a sentence description for selection would also help. Formatting >> should be a single >. (4/5)

Lab 2 Assessment

Human zygote

Stages in early development of a human zygote.png

The stages in early development of a human zygote. All the zygote's matured under in vitro conditions. The original image was cropped to show only Figure A.


Pu Zhang, Marco Zucchelli, Sara Bruce, Fredwell Hambiliki, Anneli Stavreus-Evers, Lev Levkov, Heli Skottman, Erja Kerkelä, Juha Kere, Outi Hovatta Transcriptome profiling of human pre-implantation development. PLoS ONE: 2009, 4(11);e7844 PubMed 19924284

--Mark Hill The image is suitable for this assessment, you have included information and formatting here that should only appear with the file summary. I have fixed some formatting issues (see page history for specific changes) and there should have been a better description of the figure identifying the acronyms used in the labelling. (4/5)

Lab 1 Assessment

Article 1


K Jayaprakasan, D Pandian, J Hopkisson, B K Campbell, W E Maalouf Effect of ethnicity on live birth rates after in vitro fertilisation or intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment. BJOG: 2014, 121(3);300-6 PubMed 24206211


The research was carried out to identify if ethnicity effects in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and its outcomes. It investigated a larger population (1517) over the period of 5 years, with no similar studies being conducted recently to this extent. A comparison was made between ethnic minority and white European groups and their live birth rate outcomes following IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment.


  • The participants were women who were in completion of their first cycle of IVF or ISCI treatment occurring between 2006 -2011
  • Each participant was required to identify their ethnic origin, there were several groups including South East Asians, Middle Eastern Asians, African Caribbeans and white Europeans.
  • They were administered gonadotrophin (GnRH) releasing hormone agonists during the midluteal phase of their menstrual cycle.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound and serum estradiol measurements were used to observe follicular development. Chorionic gonadotrophin was given if three follicles observed, had a measurement of 18mm or more.
  • The occytes were retrieved and then fertilised by IVF or ICSI, following this step at least two embryos were then transferred into the uterus.
  • Progesterone pessaries were used for luteal phase support and 16 days later a serum hCG level was used to measure the outcome.
  • A transvaginal ultrasound was again used to finally confirm pregnancy and further tests were administered throughout the process, including an ultrasound scan.


The research found that there are significantly higher live birth, clinical pregnancy and implantation rates after IVF treatment in women from the white European group compared to the Ethnic group. From the sub ethnic groups, the South East Asian participants showed the lowest success rates. Further research needs to be conducted to support the results as there were less participants in the sub ethnic minority groups (14.95%) compared to the white European (85.1%).

Article 2


Xiyuan Dong, Xiuhua Liao, Rui Wang, Hanwang Zhang The impact of endometriosis on IVF/ICSI outcomes. Int J Clin Exp Pathol: 2013, 6(9);1911-8 PubMed 24040458


The paper highlighted the impact of endometriosis on IVF/ICSI treatment outcomes. There was an involvement of 1027 patients, 431 that suffered from infertility due to endometriosis. There have been particularly high risks of infertility due to aspects of endometriosis. This study’s main focus was to see if there were any significant differences in IVF/ICSI treatment outcomes and ovarian stimulation parameters, among women with endometriosis and women with tubal factors.


  • It included 1027 patients; 152 with stage I-II endometriosis, 279 with stage III-IV endometriosis, 596 patients with tubal factors were the control group.

The study was conducted between 2011 and 2012.

  • Patients with endometriosis had complete removal of endometriosis lesion by laparoscopy before their IVF/ICSI treatment. The laparoscopy was also used to diagnose the control group with tubal infertility.

COH Protocol

  • Endometriosis patients went through controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) or GnRH-a prolonged protocol.
  • Serum E2 level <pg/mL and serum LH level <2mIU/mL were administered in confirmation of pituitary suppression. The GnRH-a long protocol was given to the control group.
  • Administration of 150 IU/d intramuscularly was commenced and ovarian stimulation with Puregon or recombinant FSH.
  • Once two follicles reached a measurement of 18 mm, recombinant hCG was provided to trigger follicle maturation.
  • Oocytes were retrieved transvaginally following hCG injection.
  • The assessment of embryos had a few variables; cleavage rate, equality of blastomeres, degree of fragmentation, and mononuclearity in blastomeres.
  • The embryos were classified into four categories according to the number of cells and fragmentation percentage.
  • From the time of oocyte retrieval luteal phase support was given through 60mg injections of progesterone


The endometriosis patients responded ‘worse’ to the ovarian stimulation that tubal factor patients. Although it was shown that patients with endometriosis had more success rates compared to the patients with infertility as a result of tubal factors. The results depicted that IVF/ICSI is effective for patients who may have infertility due to endometriosis. This was aided by the administration of COH, pituitary suppression, and efficient surgery before the treatments. Without those factors, it is possible that different outcomes would have occurred. The results proved that both patients with endometriosis and tubal infertility had relatively equivalent pregnancy outcomes. Therefore IVF/ICSI (ART) could be an effective treatment for infertility in women due to endometriosis or tubal factors.

--Mark Hill These are appropriate references and good summaries. I have fixed the reference citation formatting. (5/5)

Lecture Reviews

Lecture 1

I thought the lecture was well divided for a first lecture of the semester. The information about the course and our requirements were well presented and easy to understand. I enjoyed the content about the history of embryology, I've never heard of the "Carnegie Stages of Development". I though that was really interesting to see the development of a zygote and for there to be such technology where you can see such detail is really amazing. I liked that we were shown video's, its always good to have lecture content presented in different ways, keeps me focused.

Lecture 2

I've previously learned about the process of meiosis and mitosis in high school biology, it was good to refresh my memory. I was familiar with most of the content since I completed histology in semester 1, so I happy that I could follow the information. The content on polar bodies was new to me, I didn't know what those were before the lecture. The stages of fertilisation for males and females were new to me. In this lecture I found the link between maternal age and the risks of Trisomy 21 surprising as I had no idea that there was a link. It is quite alarming how the risks increase so much with age.

Type in a Group

A combination of both of these;


A Teamworker is the oil between the cogs that keeps the machine that is the team running smoothly. They are good listeners and diplomats, talented at smoothing over conflicts and helping parties understand one other without becoming confrontational. Since the role can be a low-profile one, the beneficial effect of a Teamworker can go unnoticed and unappreciated until they are absent, when the team begins to argue, and small but important things cease to happen. Because of an unwillingness to take sides, a Teamworker may not be able to take decisive action when it is needed.

Completer Finisher

The Completer Finisher is a perfectionist and will often go the extra mile to make sure everything is "just right," and the things he or she delivers can be trusted to have been double-checked and then checked again. The Completer Finisher has a strong inward sense of the need for accuracy, and sets his or her own high standards rather than working on the encouragement of others. They may frustrate their teammates by worrying excessively about minor details and by refusing to delegate tasks that they do not trust anyone else to perform.

Lab Attendance

Lab 1 --Z3417458 (talk) 12:45, 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 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:11, 13 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 3 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:15, 20 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 4 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:08, 27 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 5 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:03, 3 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 6 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:08, 10 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 7 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:08, 17 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 8 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:17, 24 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 9 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:26, 8 October 2014 (EST)

Lab 10 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:04, 15 October 2014 (EST)

Lab 11 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:17, 22 October 2014 (EST)

Lab 12 --Z3417458 (talk) 11:53, 29 October 2014 (EST)