From Embryology

Welcome to the 2014 Embryology Course!

Links: Timetable | How to work online | One page Wiki Reference Card | Moodle
  • Each week the individual assessment questions will be displayed in the practical class pages and also added here.
  • Copy the assessment items to your own page and provide your answer.
  • Note - Some guest assessments may require completion of a worksheet that will be handed in in class with your student name and ID.
Individual Lab Assessment
  1. Lab 1 Assessment - Fertilization References
  2. Lab 2 Assessment - Uploading a Research Image
  3. Lab 3 Assessment - Researching your Project Sub-Heading
  4. Lab 4 Assessment - Cord Stem Cells
  5. Lab 5 Assessment - Abnormalities
  6. Lab 6 Assessment - Group Work (As announced in the lecture, No individual assessment item for this Lab, but I do expect you to have added content to your Group project by tomorrow's Lab.)
  7. Lab 7 Assessment - Endocrine+Teeth
  8. Lab 8 - Genital
  9. Lab 9 - Peer Assessment
  10. Lab 10 - Sensory Development
  11. Lab 11 - Stem Cells
  12. Lab 12 - Stem Cells Presentation (see preparation information)
Lab 12 - Stem Cell Presentation Assessment More Info
Group Comment Mark (10)
  • Lots of effort to place article in larger context
  • Slide lay out could be improved: lots of empty space, use larger images and talk through them
  • Results presentation a bit convoluted. Try to finish discussion of each experiment with a clear conclusion.
  • Repetition of information towards the end
  • One presenter had an unprofessional style of presentation
  • Good well-structured presentation
  • Good introduction
  • Methods discussed separately. Try to avoid this, and incorporate in discussion of experiments. Not sure if technology was understood very well.
  • Good well-structured presentation
  • Do not discuss methods as a separate section
  • Discussion of results not always very clear, comprehension?
  • Good well-structured presentation
  • Lots of text on slides, improve talking through images, blow up images
  • Good discussion
  • Good well-structured presentation, amount of text on slides relatively good.
  • Figures too small, discussion bit convoluted
  • Slightly over time
  • Good comprehension and well-structured presentation.
  • Too much text on slides
  • Experiments discussed in a lot of detail. Try to be more concise and discuss aim of experiment, approach, summarize results, conclude.
  • No talking through figures
  • Good well-structured presentation, great introduction, inclusion of images in presentation done relatively well.
  • Methods discussed separately. Incorporate methods in discussion of the experiments in the results section.
  • Try not to depend too much on text on your slides
  • Talking through results images was not very clear, comprehension?
More Useful Links
Student Projects
Group 1 Respiratory User:Z3330991 User:Z3332339 User:Z3333429 User:Z3372817
Group 2 Renal User:Z3463310 User:Z3465141 User:Z3465654 User:Z5030311
Group 3 Gastrointestinal User:Z3414515 User:Z3375627 User:Z3415141 User:Z3415242
Group 4 Genital User:Z3415716 User:Z3416697 User:Z3417458 User:Z3417753
Group 5 Integumentary User:Z3417796 User:Z3417843 User:Z3418340 User:Z3418488
Group 6 Endocrine User:Z3418702 User:Z3418837 User:Z3418698 User:Z3414648
Group 7 Neural User:Z3418981 User:Z3419587 User:Z3422484 User:Z3374116
Group 8 Musculoskeletal User:Z3418779 User:Z3418718 User:Z3418989
Student Projects Fetal Development of a specific System.
2014 Course: Week 2 Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Lab 1 | Week 3 Lecture 3 Lecture 4 Lab 2 | Week 4 Lecture 5 Lecture 6 Lab 3 | Week 5 Lecture 7 Lecture 8 Lab 4 | Week 6 Lecture 9 Lecture 10 Lab 5 | Week 7 Lecture 11 Lecture 12 Lab 6 | Week 8 Lecture 13 Lecture 14 Lab 7 | Week 9 Lecture 15 Lecture 16 Lab 8 | Week 10 Lecture 17 Lecture 18 Lab 9 | Week 11 Lecture 19 Lecture 20 Lab 10 | Week 12 Lecture 21 Lecture 22 Lab 11 | Week 13 Lecture 23 Lecture 24 Lab 12
Student Projects - Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 | Group 6 | Group 7 | Group 8 | Moodle

Lab Attendance

Lab 1 --Mark Hill (talk) 12:50, 6 August 2014 (EST)

reference 1


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

reference 2


Elisabeth Juul Gade, Simon Francis Thomsen, Svend Lindenberg, Vibeke Backer Female asthma has a negative effect on fertility: what is the connection? ISRN Allergy: 2014, 2014;131092 PubMed 25101180

reference 3


Claudia Sánchez-Cárdenas, Martha Rocio Servín-Vences, Omar José, Claudia Lydia Treviño, Arturo Hernández-Cruz, Alberto Darszon Acrosome reaction and Ca2+ imaging in single human spermatozoa: new regulatory roles of [Ca2+]i. Biol. Reprod.: 2014, 91(3);67 PubMed 25100708

Lab 2 --Z3418989 (talk) 11:22, 13 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 3 --Z3418989 (talk) 11:40, 20 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 4--Z3418989 (talk) 11:51, 27 August 2014 (EST)

Lab 5----Z3418989 (talk) 11:47, 3 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 6--Z3418989 (talk) 12:03, 10 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 7--Z3418989 (talk) 11:23, 17 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 8--Z3418989 (talk) 11:36, 24 September 2014 (EST)

Lab 9--Z3418989 (talk) 12:18, 8 October 2014 (EST)

Lab 10--Z3418989 (talk) 12:10, 15 October 2014 (EST)

Lab11 was there but forgot to do attendance

===Lab12--Z3418989 (talk) 11:51, 29 October 2014 (EST)

Lab Assessment 1

Research article 1

Altered Protein Expression Profiles in Umbilical Veins: Insights into Vascular Dysfunctions of the Children Born after In Vitro Fertilization.


IVF children have been noticed to have cardiovascular problems and remodeling. However not much is known of how IVF treatment could cause these cardiovascular problems and this is the main concern of this article. The scientists’ previous studies have led them to discover that ART like IVF may cause differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) in the IVF placenta.

The umbilical veins and cord blood from 45 IVD and 48 naturally conceived (CV) newborns was collected and tissue samples were collected and then put to undergo in vitro fertilization under various conditions. E_2 cord blood levels was also examined. Using a randomizing program, 3 IVF and 3 NC umbilical veins were selected for proteomic analysis by the iTRAQ, a proteomic analysis technology. First the 6 umbilical vein sample proteins were extracted, separated with chromatography and identified using different methods like a mass spectrometer and the MASCOT search engine (Gao et al, 2014).

Also the E_2 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and cord blood was measured. For further validation of proteomic results PCR and Western blotting analysis was conducted on 11 and 4 umbilical veins respectively (Gao et al, 2014).

Results showed 47 DEPs (20 up-regulated; 27 down-regulated) were found in IVF newborns in comparison to NC newborns. Q-PCR and Western blotting done showed validated results as proteins lumican, nestin and PTGDS were up-regulated and vimentin was down regulated as observed with proteomic results. The bioinformatics analysis conducted showed that umbilical vein DEPs had a connection with development of many systems including cardiovascular system development and carbon metabolism (Gao et al, 2014). This study indicates there is different in expression of proteins in IVF-newborns compared to NC newborns and that DEPs might correlate with IVF-related cardiovascular issues (Gao et al, 2014).

Research article 2

Improvement in in vitro fertilization rate, decrease in reactive oxygen species and spermatozoa death incidence in rams by dietary fish oil.


This experiment aims to investigates, in rams, the effects of fish oil on level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), spermatozoa death incidence and in vitro fertilization (IVF) (Behzad, 2014).

9 Rams were randomly selected and split into control (5) and fish oil (4) groups. A diet was administered of essentially 0% fish oil to the control groups and 2.5% to the fish oil group and other things such as equal amounts of vitamin E. After 21 days semen from both groups was collated via an artificial vagina. Semen continued to be collected weekly following this. This continued on for 70 days during breeding season. (Behzad, 2014). Every week after the initial 21 days ROS level and spermatozoa death incidence was measured via flow cytometry. However during only the first (day 21) and last (day 70) weeks of sperm collection sperm was analyzed using a sperm analyzer program called CASA and swimming up technique was used to prepare sperm for IVF. (Behzad, 2014).

The results showed a greater volume, concentration and sperm motility in fish oil groups. They found higher fertilization rates in fish oil groups; 56% compared to 49%. In third week of samples O_2 and spermatozoa death incidence was lower in fish oil groups (Behzad, 2014).

Therefore this articulate argues that dietary omega-3 which is found in fish oil could be used to increase fertilization rates in vitro fertilization.

--Mark Hill These are both good articles and summaries (5/5)

Lab Assessment 2

Promising System for Selecting Healthy In Vitro Fertilized Embryos in Cattle.png

Promising System for Selecting Healthy In Vitro Fertilized Embryos in Cattle[1]

  1. Satoshi Sugimura, Tomonori Akai, Yutaka Hashiyada, Tamás Somfai, Yasushi Inaba, Muneyuki Hirayama, Tadayuki Yamanouchi, Hideo Matsuda, Shuji Kobayashi, Yoshio Aikawa, Masaki Ohtake, Eiji Kobayashi, Kazuyuki Konishi, Kei Imai Promising system for selecting healthy in vitro-fertilized embryos in cattle. PLoS ONE: 2012, 7(5);e36627 PubMed 22590579 | [1]

--Mark Hill The file and associated reference and copyright information is correct. My only comment would be to reformat the image to a smaller size, this is a large image file (1 Mb) . (5/5)

Lab Assessment 3

Anatomy and variations of palmaris longus in fetuses.[1]

Development of the rectus abdominis and its sheath in the human fetus.[2]

Sonic hedgehog acts cell-autonomously on muscle precursor cells to generate limb muscle diversity.[3]

The normal growth of the biceps brachii muscle in human fetuses.[4]

  1. S Albay, Yadigar Kastamoni, Büşra Sakalli, S Tunali Anatomy and variations of palmaris longus in fetuses. Rom J Morphol Embryol: 2013, 54(1);85-9 PubMed 23529313 | [2]
  2. Jae Do Yang, Hong Pil Hwang, Ji Hyun Kim, Jose Francisco Rodríguez-Vázquez, Shin-ichi Abe, Gen Murakami, Baik Hwan Cho Development of the rectus abdominis and its sheath in the human fetus. Yonsei Med. J.: 2012, 53(5);1028-35 PubMed 22869489 | [3]
  3. Claire Anderson, Victoria C Williams, Benjamin Moyon, Philippe Daubas, Shahragim Tajbakhsh, Margaret E Buckingham, Toshihiko Shiroishi, Simon M Hughes, Anne-Gaëlle Borycki Sonic hedgehog acts cell-autonomously on muscle precursor cells to generate limb muscle diversity. Genes Dev.: 2012, 26(18);2103-17 PubMed 22987640 | [4]
  4. Michał Szpinda, Monika Paruszewska-Achtel, Maria Dąbrowska, Mateusz Badura, Gabriela Elminowska-Wenda, Adrianna Sobolewska, Anna Szpinda The normal growth of the biceps brachii muscle in human fetuses. Adv Clin Exp Med: 2013, 22(1);17-26 PubMed 23468258 | [5]

--Mark Hill These are useful references, you have included the reference title as a single sentence, you should have included why you had selected these references for your section. (4/5)

Lab Assessment 4

cord stem cell therapy

Induction of Highly Functional Hepatocytes from Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells by HNF4a Transduction

In this article they describe how human umbilical mesenchymal stem cells were turned into hepatocyte/liver like cells. Using plasmid transfection of these cells Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNFα) was overexpressed. HNFα is known to be crucial in liver development and hepatic differentiation. Then the expression of different proteins and genes were observed by Western blotting and RT-PCR methods. What they found was that the liver like cells with overexpressed HNFα caused hepatic specific proteins, genes, liver enriched transcription facors and the Wnt/β-Catenin pathway (Hang et al, 2014); all of which play a role in hepatic development. Hepatic specific proteins like ALB and AFB were observed to be expressed. Liver enriched transcription factors control expression genes involved in liver function. After HNFα transfection they found that HNF6, CEBP/ α and HNF3 β were overexpressed. Hang et al (2014) postulated that HNFα might enhance hepatic differentiation via liver enriched factors. And as expected during hepatic differentiation Hang et al observed the Wnt/β-Catenin pathway to be inactivated by HNFα administration. The results show that human umbilical mesenchymal stem cells can be used to form hepatic like cells and HNFα further to activate important genes for hepatic differentiation. These findings provide the experimental basis for clinical procedures like liver generation after a hepatectomy and liver transplantation.

Induction of Highly Functional Hepatocytes from Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells by HNF4α Transduction.[1]

  1. Hualian Hang, Yabin Yu, Ning Wu, Qingfeng Huang, Qiang Xia, Jianmin Bian Induction of highly functional hepatocytes from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells by HNF4α transduction. PLoS ONE: 2014, 9(8);e104133 PubMed 25137413 | [6]

Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells suppress MHC class II expression on rat vascular endothelium and prolong survival time of cardiac allograft

Umbilical cord mesechymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) are known to have immunomodulatory effects and this is the basis of this investigation. UC-MSCs were taken from human umbilical cords. MHC class II transactivator gene construct (CIITA) was introduced to form a transgenic rat line. After the addition of MHC class II to the vascular endothelium, they were analyzed by immunological staining. UC-MSCs were introduced to one group of transgenic rats. Survival time of the cardiac allograft of the transgenic groups with the UC-MSCs were compared with the group without the UC-MSCs. What they found was that with repeated infusion of UC-MSCs that the cardiac allograft survival time increased. Ying et al (2014) go onto describe that basically UC-MSCs reduced MHC class II expression on vascular endothelium of transplanted hearts and increased regulatory anti-inflammatory cytokines like IL10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and suppressed proinflammatory cytokines like IL2, IFN-γ. This had the combined effect of increasing the survival time of the rat cardiac allograft. Why this is therapeutically relevant is that it shows great potential of use of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for organ transplantation potential (Ying et al, 2014).

Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells suppress MHC class II expression on rat vascular endothelium and prolong survival time of cardiac allograft.[1]

  1. Ying Qiu, Mark M Yun, Xia Han, Ruidong Zhao, Erxia Zhou, Sheng Yun Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells suppress MHC class II expression on rat vascular endothelium and prolong survival time of cardiac allograft. Int J Clin Exp Med: 2014, 7(7);1760-7 PubMed 25126177 | [7]

Vascular "shunts" in embryo

There are three major shunts; foramen ovale, ductus arteriosus and ductus venosus; two shunts direct pulmonary blood to systemic circulation and the third connects the vena cava and umbilical vein. These shunts close following birth and third shunt becomes non-functional once the umbilical cord is cut. Foramen Ovale is an interatrial septum opening. After birth with the closing of this shunt the fossa ovalis remains in its remnant place. Foramen Ovale is between the right and left atrium and allows between them and has a valve to prevent backflow (during fetal period). Ductus arteriosus helps in supporting the fetal lung and is a small muscular vessel joining the pulmonary trunk and aorta which allows blood from pulmonary trunk to go to the aorta. Pressure drop in lungs after first birth causes smooth muscle in ductus arteriosus to constrict and eventually degenerate. What is left is connective tissue remnant known as ligamentum arteriosum. Ductus venosus transports oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus’ heart. The degenerated remnant of ductus venosus is known as ligamentum venosum.

--Mark Hill Your articles are good, you include many acronyms and gene names, do you understand what they all mean? Shunts are fine. (5/5)

Lab Assessment 5

Meckel's Diverticulum

Meckel’s diverticulum Meckel’s diverticulum is caused by the vitelline duct not being destroyed, resulting in a blind pouch of the intestine [1]. This pouch is in the lower part of the small intestine, the ileum, and presents itself at birth. [2] The vitelline duct transports nutrients from the yolk sac to the fetus. Normally around week 5 to 7 of embryonic development the vitelline duct begins to narrow and eventually gets obliterated. When the vitelline duct doesn’t get obliterated a number of conditions may arise, however 97% of times it is a Meckel’s diverticulum [3] and it occurs in approximately 2% of the population [4]. In fact Meckel’s diverticulum is the most common abnormality of gastrointestinal tract development. Meckel’s diverticulum contains all layers of the small intestine and is on the anti-mesenteric border of the ileum; the side of the small intestine where the vitelline sac/yolk used to be attached and the border opposite to where the blood and nerve supply is provided [5]. Meckel’s diverticulum has its own unique blood supply from the vitelline artery.

Meckel’s diverticulum is normally asymptomatic but if there are symptoms most of the time it presents itself as the presence of stomach or pancreas tissue at the edge of the diverticulum. Meckel’s diverticulum can cause bleeding, inflammation, rupture or blockage. It can even cause intussusception which is the movement of the upstream intestine in the downstream intestine.[6] This may clinically present itself as intestinal bleeding which results in bloody stools which is present more in children younger than 5. Intestinal blockage may occur in early months of life. Inflammation which can occur presents itself similarly to appendicitis and is treated by surgical removal. [7]


  1. John J Park, Bruce G Wolff, Matthew K Tollefson, Erin E Walsh, Dirk R Larson Meckel diverticulum: the Mayo Clinic experience with 1476 patients (1950-2002). Ann. Surg.: 2005, 241(3);529-33 PubMed 15729078
  4. I McKay, J Calder Meckel's diverticulum presenting as fistula-in-ano. Br Med J: 1973, 4(5883);31-2 PubMed 4755212
  5. Jeng-Jung Chen, Hung-Chang Lee, Chun-Yan Yeung, Wai-Tao Chan, Chuen-Bin Jiang, Jin-Cherng Sheu, Nein-Lu Wang Meckel's Diverticulum: Factors Associated with Clinical Manifestations. ISRN Gastroenterol: 2014, 2014;390869 PubMed 25006469

--Mark Hill Very good summary of Meckel’s diverticulum. I do not like to see medscape and meddling plus references used, please stick to the published research literature. (4/5)

Lab Assessment 7

Research Article

Tbx1 is a gene that is important in pharyngeal apparatus development and is required for derivatives such as the thyroid. Tbx1 acts on mesoderm which lies next to the thyroid and this in turn controls thyroid size and early primordium. Tbx1 also known to regulate Fgf8 in the mesoderm. The article thus describes the investigation of the possibility that Fgf8 is a mediator of Tbx1 mediated reactions between mesoderm and the thyroid and that the Tbx1-Fgf8 pathway is important in early thyroid development [1]. Lania et al (2009) describe the function of Tbx1 to be affecting how many cells in the primordium and affects thyroid at primordium formation or prior to it [1]. They found the primordium of Tbx1 mutants to grow but never reach the normal size. Lania et al (2009) test their hypothesis of the Tbx1-Fgf8 pathway by stopping expression of Fgf8 in Tbx1 mutant mice, and they found that there was thyroid hypoplasia. They also found this with Tbx1 deficient mice. Lania et al (2009) describe that Fgf8 cDNA when expressed in Tbx1 domain in Tbx1 mutant mice had a therapeutic effect on a thyroidal primordiam size deficiencies [1]. There association between Tbx1 and Fgf8 is confirmed in this experiment and they hypothesize that the Tbx1-Fgf8 controls primordium growth by controlling proliferation of endodermal thyroid progenitor cells [1].

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gabriella Lania, Zhen Zhang, Tuong Huynh, Cinzia Caprio, Anne M Moon, Francesca Vitelli, Antonio Baldini Early thyroid development requires a Tbx1-Fgf8 pathway. Dev. Biol.: 2009, 328(1);109-17 PubMed 19389367

layers and tissue involved with Tooth development

Teeth in the embryo are derived from the ectoderm and the mesoderm. Specifically the ectoderm of the first pharyngeal arch, mesoderm and the neural crest ectomesenchyme. The dental lamina is a thin ectodermal layer which proliferates to form two horse shoe shaped structure. Extoderm forms the ameloblasts which participates in enamel formation[1]. The enamel organs which are cellular aggregation forms swellings on the dental lamina which eventually is where the tooth will form and will affect the size and structure of the crown of the tooth as well as the adjacent mesoderm structures known as the dermal papillae [2]. The dermal papillae gets enclosed by some of the enamel organ whilst some is left unenclosed, which eventually forms a sac known as the follicular sac. Each of these structures have different fates; the enamel organ differentiates to form the enamel cap; the dental papillae form the dentine and pulp chamber; follicular sac forms the periodontal membrane [3]. These structures form specialized teeth cells like the odontoblasts, ameloblasts and cementoblasts. The neural crest ectomesenchyme form the odontoblasts. Odontoblasts contribute to the outer dental pulp and makes dentin which is calcified tissue which surfaces structures like the enamel and pulp[1].

  1. 1.0 1.1 P T Sharpe Neural crest and tooth morphogenesis. Adv. Dent. Res.: 2001, 15;4-7 PubMed 12640730

--Mark Hill Good. (5/5)

Lab Assessment 8

For the testis to develop the XY chromosome must be present. Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs) in early gastrulation migrate through primitive streak. These migrated PGCs then congregate in-between the hindgut and yolk sac. They then migrate to the germinal ridge which now begins the stage of development of the testis. The gonadal ridge is formed by the proliferation of epithelium and mesenchyme of mesothelium on its medial side. The PGCs are originally found with endodermal cells of umbilical vesicle. The dorsal part which gets involved with the embryo and the PGCs migrate into the underlying mesenchyme. In Week 4-5 the intermediate mesoderm forms the pronephros near the pharyngeal arches. The pronephros disintegrates and forms the mesonephros or intermediate kidney. The mesonephros has two mesonephric ducts which open up into the cloacal cavity. The mesonephros extends caudally towards the hind gut. The anterior portion of the hind gut separates itself to form the urogenital sinus into which the mesonephric ducts initially open up into. Superior part of the primitive urogenital sinus forms the bladder. The inferior part of the primitive urogential sinus is where either male or female gonad structures develop from.

SRY gene on Y chromosome expresses testis determining factor (TDF). In week 8 TDF differentiates sertoli cells which express Mullerian duct inhibitory factor (MDIF) which degenerates the paramesonephric duct. In week 9 by the action of TDF, leydig cells for them to express testosterone which differentiates mesonephric ducts. The mesonephric ducts associated with medullary sex chords forms the rete testis by condensing and anastomising in the indifferent gonad. The mesonephric duct associated with gonad forms the ductus deferens and also forms the vas deferens. Tunica albuginea also develops which forms the connective tissue over the testis, which forms when the seminiferous cords connection with the epithelium is lost. Medullary sex cords form seminiferous tubules. The developing testis suspends itself by the mesorchium.

Hill, M.A. (2014) Embryology ANAT2341 Lab 8 - Sex Determination

Remnant of the Wolffian Body in the Male

Keith1902 fig082.jpg

--Mark Hill Testis embryonic development could have been better summarised, do not cite me as a source, use the published literature. Historic image is fine. (4/5)

Lab Assessment 9

Group 1

You guys have a good contents list and cover the main topics under respiratory fetal development. However subheadings “Current Research, Models and Findings”, “Historic Findings” and “ Abnormalities” can be made into separate subsections, instead of under Lung Development Stages as 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and can be categorized as 3,4,5 on the contents list. This can be easily changed. Also one reference list at the end of the whole page for all the sections would be good. The introduction gives a good overview of respiratory development. It might be good if in the introduction it outlines the focuses of the page, in particular that you guys will be focusing on fetal development. There is a very good use of a table to describe lung development stages. The table and information provided shows good understanding of overall lung development. Possibly more information could be given on lung development and fetal development. Maybe the molecular pathways involved could be mentioned. Lung development diagrams would be even more useful in conveying the message. The Current Research, Models and Findings has good information. It is simple and clearly conveyed and easy to grasp. It was good that you guys discussed the current understanding of morphogenesis, with recent findings about FGF10 and FGFR2. Possibly these sort of molecular pathways involved could be discussed further as I would assume much research in that area would be happening. Possibly animal models and human models could be discussed in this topic. Historic findings is very comprehensive with diagrams and also a very good use of dot points in chronological order to describe the sequentially the historic findings in the context of respiratory development. The dot points are also easy to read and understand. The youtube link also under the references for historic findings is also a good tool for learning and explaining. The abnormalities section is very comprehensive with descriptions of many abnormalities. There could be more diagrams included as can be done well when describing abnormalities. It is a good opportunity to use diagrams and maybe putting images of abnormal vs normal lungs would be a good way to help teach at peer level the abnormalities that form. There is a good use of diagrams throughout the page. The first 2 diagrams of the lung histology could be explained or described a little further. For example if there is a difference and similarities between slides a, b,c or d in the first diagram. References and in text citations are done well. However the references for all the subsections could be kept in one References subsection at the end of the page. This would make navigating the page more easier. There are elements of teaching within the page. For example the table explaining the stages of development; dot point for historic findings; diagrams; youtube link on respiratory development. More teaching elements could be introduced with different explanations and more interesting examples. This could be nicely incorporated into the recent findings topic and abnormalities. But on the whole your page is really good and it is clear that much research has been done. If you keep going the way you guys are going it should turn out really good.

Group 2

They key topics under renal are listed clearly in the contents box. The subsections seem to cover all the relevant topics related to renal. The introduction is useful in that broadly explains what the page is mainly about and gives context. They have also ordered the sections well; introduction, historic findings, developmental timeline… references. Currently there is no information under ‘Historic findings’ and this information will be added I trust. The developmental timeline is good and succinct. However more information could be added to it but it is understood its ok if it doesn’t have much information because the other sections like “Kidney”, “Ureter” and “Urethra” sections cover it in more detail. The current research model section is good and discusses use of animal models and their use in some current research. The Kidney, Urethra and Ureter development research is extensive with lots of information and some diagrams which is useful in explaining. The diagrams used are useful, in particular the nephrogenesis diagram. It is useful and relevant to what is being discussed. Also the diagram for anatomical position of the Kidney is useful in explaining. It would be hard to clearly convey such a pictorial concept without such a diagram. The MRI diagram of renal agenesis is interesting and useful also in describing renal agenesis abnormality. One image under the Urethra section doesn’t have a description unlike the other images, it could be added if you think it is necessary. Throughout the page the content is cited and referenced. There are separate references list for abnormalities which could be added to the main reference list. Multiple reference lists can be collated into one. Also there a number of references under ‘Polycystic Kidney disease’ which if added to main reference list would be good. Also there are some repeats in the main reference list, in particular the paper ‘The number of fetal nephron progenitor cells limits ureteric branching and adult nephron endowment’. This could be fixed by referring to the how to reference page provided; Teaching at a peer level was accomplished with the many useful diagrams as mentioned before. More teaching elements could be added to the page, like a video link or tables. These would be helpful in trying to explain development of renal structures. Your group’s page is really good and if you keep adding more information and fix up the references it would make even better.

Group 3

You have covered the key topics in relation to GIT. There is a good progression of topics, beginning with a GIT system overview and moving into more specific foregut, midgut and hindgut explanations. There are no subheadings under Hindgut however in the content box, the subheadings found in the hindgut section could be listed in the content box. In the explanation of the organs there is mentioning of the earlier embryonic weeks of GIT development. This may be important to set up the basis on which the fetal development begins. The page could add an introduction section to mention mention that your page focuses on fetal period of development, just for the knowledge of readers so that they know the page focuses on fetal development. The GIT system overview can be included under the introduction. There was a good use of diagrams, in particular the hand drawn diagrams of midgut herniation and retraction of Midgut. This diagram shows a good understanding of gut formation and is really helpful in explaining it too peer level audiences. Also the diagram of large omphacele in the deformities also shows good understanding. However diagrams would really help wen explaining the Foregut organs like the oesophagus, stomach, liver etc. Reading the text is pretty heavy and pictures and videos would really help in supplementing the text. Images would also be really good for structures like Peyer’s Patches and Interstitial cells of Cajal. The timeline shows a good overview knowledge of gut formation and is useful for readers to refer to keep in context when reading the more detailed descriptions further on in the page. The other topics substantially cover all the other topics to a level around teaching level. Further deeper research can be done in particular to do with ‘recent findings’. However group you guys has not included a ‘historic findings’ section which I know you guys will do before the deadline. You guys have discussed recent findings but haven’t discussed current research models. Also there could be more information on the recent findings. The ‘anorectal deformities’ and ‘cloacal extrophy’ descriptions could be added to the main deformities section and it could be emphasized that it is a hindgut deformity. References and citations are done correctly. The link in the recent findings subsection could also should be added to the main reference subsection and removed from the recent findings subsection. The citation number hyperlinks are meant to be put at the end of paragraphs or sentences instead of at the front of them as was done at the start of the ‘Oesophagus’ subsection and in ‘Stomach’. In foregut, midgut and hindgut subsections there were a lot of text but there wasn’t enough in text citations within the text. Instead of putting the citation number hyperlinks at the top under the headings they could be included in the text or at the end of the texts. There are little errors like in Hindgut section, under Cloaca partitioning, ‘esenchyme’ was written instead of ‘mesenchyme’. Otherwise your page is really good and comprehensive. Too go beyond the normal teach level of information you guys could add more information to historic findings and recent findings. A good recent findings section will give a good contemporary twist to your page, too keep the readers interested.

Group 4

Your group have excellent topics that cover the genital topic extensively. I feel it was a good approach to discuss the background to genital development in the ‘System Development’ section. It sets a good basis for the rest of the page which is focusing on fetal development. There could be some mentioning that the page is primarily focusing on fetal development for viewers who might read it in the future. There is information missing on about femal genital development in the first table, ‘System development’ section. Likewise there are some information missing on male genital development for example in the current findings. I’m sure you guys will add that information as the assignment progresses. There is a good use of diagrams. The first diagram in the ‘System Development’ maybe needs a description. Under current models there is a diagram which seems not to be working. This can be easily fixed by referencing to the manual on editing as you guys would have already known. Otherwise there are a lot of really good hand drawn diagrams throughout the page which are helpful and show a good knowledge of the concepts. There are some references in the ‘System Development’ section which could be added to the main reference list. Likewise in other sections there are small references lists which could be added to the main reference list for easy reading through of topics. There must be a lot citations for current research, maybe the in text number links can be added if future readers want to know the original source. The page shows an extensive amount research and it is clear that the group has done a lot of work. There is an element of teaching at a peer with the good diagrams as previously discussed. Research beyond the level of teaching is also evident and this can be further explored with the remaining time left for the assignment. Overall good job guys! Keep going

Group 5

You have covered the main topics. I very much like how you have simply listed the relevant topics. It is very useful how you have put in the introduction what the page is mainly focusing on and that it is focusing on fetal development. This is very useful for readers that may come across your website in the future in giving context. Your page has a particularly good use of tables. The first table with the weeks, description and phase diagrams is very good. It really helps in understanding. And I can say that it is good method of explaining the fetal skin development to peers. It is also innovative and gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the topic. It shows that the group understands the topic as they can express it so simply and effectively. Again the combination of images and descriptive tables for the teeth section is very useful. There is an image in the historic findings section where it has not worked. As you guys must it can be fixed by referring to the referencing manual on the website ( ). The recent findings sections use of coloured boxes is a good visual change. It is helpful for reading and attracting towards this section. It is also evident that your group has done a lot of research and I your group has gone past the normal teaching level knowledge. Possibly more information could be added to Historic Findings section. There are a few minor things like spelling of Mammillary as ‘Mamailliary’ in the Historic Findings section. There are a lot of references and in text citations which is good. However there are separate reference lists for each section. This could be modified by putting them all together into a main reference list. This can easily be done before the dead line. Overall this page is awesome!

Group 6

You have covered the main topics by listing the endocrine organs. However the sections are lacking some key information which I assume you will add later. The introduction is empty and it would be very helpful it outlined what the page was about and what the page was focusing in terms of endocrine development. Also historic findings and current research models and findings haven’t been addressed yet. It is present to a small extent in some endocrine organ descriptions. By identifying these topics the page could be greatly contributed too. The page has good use of timeline for all the organ descriptions. However the timelines need to be expanded on with more detail. Maybe a better use of headings is possible, where subheadings under each sections can be made. For example under hypothalamus the following subheadings can be added and used; historic findings, recent models and findings, hypothalamus development during fetal period, abnormalities occurring during fetal period. These topics are covered in some sections, but if subsection headings were made, it would be much more easy to read and navigate through. As there is a lot of organs to cover this may be useful. Diagrams and tables could really help fill the page up and help in giving a more comprehensive coverage of the topic. Some tables aren’t fully filled up, for example the table under ‘hypothalamus’ and ‘Associated Abnormalities’. The filled up tables which are in the pancreas and adrenal gland really help these sections and if added and fully filled up for other sections could really add to the page. There is a helpful use of dot points within the page which helps make the material readable and structured, particularly in thymus, pancreas and gonad development. Some sections don’t have adequate information on fetal development for example the Hypothalamus and Pituitary sections. There seems to be a teaching level of knowledge being displayed. Deeper research could be done to further enhance the project and fulfil project aims. Also more tools for helping peers understand the topic could be used, for example diagrams and hand drawn diagrams, video links etc. References are done and there is a lot of in text citations. Some sections like the ‘Pineal Gland’ and ‘Hypothalamus’ section has no in text citations, which need to be added. The official references section is empty. If all the references from each of the sections could be added to the main reference section it would be great for the page. This can easily be done by referring to the how to reference page on the website;

Group 7

The introduction is helpful in introducing the CNS. However the introduction is a good opportunity to outline what the page will be focusing on about the CNS, for example that it is focusing on fetal development. More could be added to the introduction for it mention briefly other things like recent findings, historic findings and fetal development introduction. In the content box ‘Brain’ and ‘Spinal Cord are in bold, it would be good to make it normal. Most of the key topics were addressed on your page. However you guys should add historic findings if you get time. It is part of the criteria and it would be good for your page. The table under Brain development is really good and it is simple and easy to follow. If it were possible, if appropriate images were put into the table it would make the table really good. You guys have a lot of different articles for research models and findings, but as you are probably already going to do, would be good to explain each of them. Some sections are empty like the ‘Meninges Development’ which I’m sure you guys will get too before the dead line. There was a good use of diagrams. The first diagram is particularly useful. It is a good pictorial representation of the CNS development. It is a good medium to try explaining it effectively to peers. In the ‘Brain Development section (-) was used to demarcate points. And in the ‘Development during fetal period’ dot points where used instead. It might be a good idea to use the dot points throughout the page for consistency. It is evident that you guys have done a considerable amount of information. Some more research wouldn’t hurt so that you guys can go beyond normal teaching level descriptions. Different teaching tools for peers might be a good idea, or some sort of way to make the page more interactive or captivating. For example hand drawn diagrams or video links. The references are done well but there are some references throughout the page which can be added to the main reference section. Overall it was good project guys all the best.

--Mark Hill Very good. (9/10)

Lab Assessment 10

Retinal determination (RD) network are fundamental to the development of the eye. RD network consists of regulated transcriptional factors which control many genes including eyes absent (eya) which plays a role in retinal development. [1] Karandikar et al (2014) found 2 control regions that control eya expression and are important in anterior to the MF (eye-IAM) and in photoreceptors (eya-PSE). [1] The morphogenetic furrow (MF) is a boundary that moves located imaginal disc. In front of the MF a lot of cellular processes and cell cycle events take place in front of the MF. The conserved transcriptional factor co-factor is expressed in this area in front of MF. Karandikar et al (2014) is known to be important in eye development as eya1 and eya2 mutations results in eye loss in adult flies. Research prior to this show that Eya plays a role in forming Sine oculis (So) homeodomain transcription factor. [1]

Eya is expressed throughout different stages of retinal development from the morphogenetic furrow (MF) to photoreceptor cells. Deletion of 2 regulatory regions retinal differention anterior and posterior to MF. Deletion of eya-IAM results in decrease in retinal field size. Whilst deletion of eya-PSE results in detriment to cone and pigment cell morphology. Experiment found that Cut, cone cell marker, and Ci which regulates the Hedgehog pathway are activated by eya gene. [1]

Eya genomic rescue (〖eya〗^GR) is the construct insert the deleted eya-IAM and eya-PSE . To check the deletions PCR was performed on DNA. Using immunohistochemistry of the third instar eye disc, pupil eye disc and adult eyes Karandikar et al (2014) could observe the mutations effects on eye development. [1] 〖eya〗^∆IAM clone doesn’t fully stop retinal development but reduces levels of eya. Lowered levels of eya showed slowed G1 arrest. This was expected from previous studies as eya plays a role in G1 arrest of retinal progenitors. Eya in its communication with So affects ato expression which is involved with retinal development. [1]

It was observed that Eya and So regulate Cut. Cut is normally expressed in cone cells of the forming retina. The So-Eya complex was found to activate and repress Cut expression and was thus found to be important in cone cell development. As Iz was found to be a target of So, so it was proposed that So-Eya complex may control Cut expression through Iz. Eya also downregulates 〖Ci〗^Act. 〖Ci〗^Act is found behind MF and is a nuclear effector of the hedgehog pathway. Eya was also observed as previously mentioned to affect cone and pigment cell differention. It was known previously that decreased Ci posterior to MF results in increased pigment cells whilst reduced eya posterior to MF causes cone cell abnormalities. This led to knowledge that cone cell loss affect disrupting pigment cell development. [1] Sensory - Vision Development

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Umesh C Karandikar, Meng Jin, Barbara Jusiak, SuJin Kwak, Rui Chen, Graeme Mardon Drosophila eyes absent is required for normal cone and pigment cell development. PLoS ONE: 2014, 9(7);e102143 PubMed 25057928

--Mark Hill Good article, please use your own understanding of the article in these summary assessments. (4/5)

Lab Assessment 11

The article draws attention to induced pluripotent stem cells’ great potential in regenerative medicine. The possibility of decellularization and recellularization the lung is an advent in bioengineering. Induced pluripotent stem cells or embryonic stem cells are a possible cell source of recellularization. [1] Nkx2.1 is a transcription factor important for lung, thyroid and forebrain development. Especially in the lungs in the embryonic period as a progenitor for the development of the lung. [2] and earliest progenitor marker from the endoderm for lung development. Nkx2.1 also expresses proteins like Foxa2 and Sox2 [3] This article delves into the effects of oxygen tension on mouse iPSC and ESC to form Nkx2.1+lung/thyroid progenitor cells. The experiment followed procedure as described by Longmire et al (2012) to develop Nkx2.1. [1] EBs was observed to first be formed. EBs are important as they are a preliminary to the later important differentiation stages. In both 20% and 5% oxygen tension in the beginning and at 3 days they both similar expressions of EBs. However as time progressed and around 5 days later in both ESCs and iPSCs there were lower expressions of EB at oxygen tension of 20% than at oxygen tension of 5%. Similarly it was found that EB adhesion was higher at 5% oxygen tension than 20% oxygen tension. Therefore in summary the lower 5% oxygen enhanced EB formation. [1] After the formation of EBs, formation of definitive endoderm cells is important in lung formation. By giving activin to EBs for 3 days the effects were measured. Foxa2 and Sox17 are transcription facts indicative of definitive endoderm and were found in both 20 and 5% oxygen tensions in ESC but were lower at 20% oxygen in iPSCs. Analysis of Nkx2.1and Foxa2, Pax8 and Oct4 by quantitative PCR was performed. Varying oxygen tension to 20% and a low 5% the effects were observed and it was found that low oxygen tension improved the progenitor formative capabilities. Using gene expression analysis it was found that in comparison to ESCs and iPSCs in 20% Oxygen tension and ESCs and iPSCs in 5% oxygen tension, Nkx2.1 and Foxa2 were expressed more. This was observed on day 12 in the developmental process and was observed in both ESCs and iPSCs. In coherence with this Oct4 gene was downregulated at 5% oxygen tension when compared with at 20% oxygen tension. [1] Immunofluorescence showed the expression of both Nkx2.1 and Foxa which was expected. Garreta et al (2014) use a immunofluorescence on all Foxa2, Nkx2.1 and Pax8 confirmed previous results and showed increased formation of all three progenitors in both ESC and IPSCs. The reason this is of great consequence is because it draws attention to induced pluripotent stem cells’ great potential in regenerative medicine. [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Elena Garreta, Esther Melo, Daniel Navajas, Ramon Farré Low oxygen tension enhances the generation of lung progenitor cells from mouse embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Physiol Rep: 2014, 2(7); PubMed 25347858
  2. Edward E Morrisey, Brigid L M Hogan Preparing for the first breath: genetic and cellular mechanisms in lung development. Dev. Cell: 2010, 18(1);8-23 PubMed 20152174
  3. Tyler A Longmire, Laertis Ikonomou, Finn Hawkins, Constantina Christodoulou, Yuxia Cao, J C Jean, Letty W Kwok, Hongmei Mou, Jayaraj Rajagopal, Steven S Shen, Anne A Dowton, Maria Serra, Daniel J Weiss, Michael D Green, Hans-Willem Snoeck, Maria I Ramirez, Darrell N Kotton Efficient derivation of purified lung and thyroid progenitors from embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell: 2012, 10(4);398-411 PubMed 22482505

--Mark Hill far review (4/5)