|Student Information (expand to read)|
Please leave this template on top of your student page as I will add your assessment items here.
Beginning your online work - Working Online in this course
|Lab 1 Assessment - Researching a Topic|
|In the lab I showed you how to find the PubMed reference database and search it using a topic word. Lab 1 assessment will be for you to use this to find a research reference on "fertilization" and write a brief summary of the main finding of the paper.
|Lab 2 Assessment - Uploading an Image|
OK you are now in a group
Initially the topic can be as specific or as broad as you want.
Chicken embryo E-cad and P-cad gastrulation
|Lab 4 Assessment - GIT Quiz|
Design 4 quiz questions based upon gastrointestinal tract. Add the quiz to your own page under Lab 4 assessment and provide a sub-sub-heading on the topic of the quiz.
An example is shown below (open this page in view code or edit mode). Note that it is not just how you ask the question, but also how you explain the correct answer.
|Lab 5 Assessment - Course Review|
|Complete the course review questionnaire and add the fact you have completed to your student page.|
|Lab 6 Assessment - Cleft Lip and Palate|
|Lab 7 Assessment - Muscular Dystrophy|
|Lab 8 Assessment - Quiz|
|A brief quiz was held in the practical class on urogenital development.|
|Lab 9 Assessment - Peer Assessment|
|Lab 10 Assessment - Stem Cells|
|As part of the assessment for this course, you will give a 15 minutes journal club presentation in Lab 10. For this you will in your current student group discuss a recent (published after 2011) original research article (not a review!) on stem cell biology or technology.
|Lab 11 Assessment - Heart Development|
|Read the following recent review article on heart repair and from the reference list identify a cited research article and write a brief summary of the paper's main findings. Then describe how the original research result was used in the review article.
Lab 11 Assessment
Assessment - 5/5
Foglia and Poss’ (2016) article focuses on reviewing the current scientific understanding of the regulation of cardiomyocyte proliferation during development and regeneration of the heart. In the section that discusses research regarding the growth and homeostasis of already established heart structures, this review cites a study done by Naqvi and colleagues (2014).
This research article elucidated potential novel regenerative therapeutic strategies for human heart disease by finding a period of significant, post-natal, hormone-induced proliferation of cardiomyocytes in mice. Firstly, they found a disparity in post-natal (preadolescent) mice between cardiomyocyte and heart growth that suggested a rise in the number of cardiomyocytes. Furthering this they found data to support that the increased population of cardiomyocytes was specifically due to a distinct burst of proliferation (around day 15). This mitosis was shown to be due to a new S phase beginning late on day 14 and to achieve successful karyokinesis. They explored the modes of mononuclear and binuclear cardiomyocyte mitosis and found them to differ, indicating that the majority of the proliferative burst involved polypoid cardiomyocyte mitoses followed by division of cells. Next they ruled out the possibility that cardiomyocyte progenitor cells contribute significantly to the pool of mononuclear cardiomyocytes. Then they ruled out body weight and circulatory volume expansion as causes of the preadolescent heart growth, and found evidence to support that the thyroid hormone T3 (through activation of downstream signalling pathways) may be the trigger. They extended their research and found regenerative capacity in murine hearts between post-natal days 2 to 21.
In Foglia and Poss’ (2016) review, they first describe these promising results about the regeneration of cardiac tissue in the preadolescent heart. However, they then go on to discuss the debate surrounding these findings since further research failed to replicate any similar findings. This leads to their conclusion that greater standardisation, collection and analysis of data, or better technology will be required for a definitive answer regarding post-natal cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Lab 9 Assessment
These are good brief reviews of the project pages, with some specific examples. They include a balanced (+/-) critical assessment, given the existing status of these pages. I would have liked to also see some comparisons/ranking. 8/10
Group 1 Peer Review
Group 1 have a clear allocation of sub topics between members of their group which is shown under the subheadings. The pathways (e.g. canonical pathway) are all described clearly, I was able to follow easily despite not having extensive knowledge on the subject. I think this could be even more improved with some diagrams or flow charts to support the written explanations. Another positive aspect of this Group’s page is how they have included information from studies under a separate heading to emphasise their findings in regards to Wnt. Moreover, there is a subsection that directly and clearly relates Wnt to the developing fetus.
Points for Improvement
Some improvements I would suggest would be: the formatting on Group 1’s page be tidied a little but since this is a draft it is still in early stages (more specifically, Group 1 could use uniform subheading sizes and uniform subsections/subtopics for each pathway described); also it would be great if the references were sorted under one heading at the bottom of the page; and a short generalised introduction could be added to inform readers of the general role of the pathway and some information about relevant molecules.
Overall the main strength of Group 1’s page is the clear explanations they have provided, which I think is really important for meeting the assessment criteria for this project. More specifically, criteria 1, 5 and 6 have been addressed so far by this Group. With a few improvements to formatting and layout this page will provide a great resource for understanding the Wnt signalling pathway.
Group 3 Peer Review
Overall Group 3 has made a really comprehensive effort at addressing the assessment criteria so far. The flow and amount of information covered by this Group is really impressive, showing that they have begun to cover criteria 1, 2, 3 and 5. The range of tools used to convey information (tables, diagrams, the quiz) make this Group’s page a lot more engaging, particularly for a student audience (covering criteria 4). The use of in-text links to wiki pages describing certain terms is also a positive aspect, which lets the readers gain a better understanding of relevant areas of embryology (covering criteria 6).
Points for Improvement
Some improvements that could be made to this page include: the use of in-text links directly to the glossary to better aid students’ understanding of specific terms used throughout the explanations (this would better address criteria 4); using more succinct headings in some areas such as that under the ‘New and Emerging Research Into FGF’ section; and also a more extensive timeline could be used.
In conclusion, Group 3 have a lot of strengths in their work so far, particularly the volume of information they have provided that is formatted in an engaging and logical way. Only a few improvements are necessary for this Group’s project as it seems they have already begun to address most of the assessment criteria.
Group 4 Peer Review
Group 4 have provided well-written information that I found was easy to follow despite not having an extensive understanding of the topic (covering criteria 1). Another positive aspect of this Group’s effort is the integration of the references, which makes it easy for students to access the resources they have used; already it seems that they have done extensive research on the topic (covering criteria 5). From looking at the subheadings it appears that the scope of the topic will be covered well (which will address criteria 2). Furthermore, the image at the top of the page provides a great visual to aid students’ understanding of and engagement in the topic (showing they have begun to address criteria 4). They have also directly related subsections to embryology, which covers criteria 6.
Points for Improvement
Some aspects of Group 4’s page that would improve their project include: the image at the top of the page could be better if a title and short explanatory caption accompanied it on the page; use of more diagrams throughout the page would also better address criteria 4; and under the ‘Animal Models’ heading, maybe shortening all the sub headings just to the animal name would make it a little more succinct and clear.
Overall this page has shown efforts at addressing a few of the assessment criteria, however still needs some improvements to make the page more suitable to engaging and informing students.
Group 5 Peer Review
Group 5 have introduced their topic really well, I think it could be improved by putting the second half of their intro under the ‘History’ subheading though and maybe it could be moved up so it is straight after the introduction. The table they have included shows they have considered addressing criteria 4 as I think it makes it easy for students to quickly take in a lot of information. Furthermore, they have addressed criteria 1 and 2 by organising the subheadings and sub-subheadings in a way that gives the page a logical flow. The amount of references already incorporated in their project shows that they have already completed extensive research on the topic area, which addresses criteria 5. Criteria 6 has clearly been addressed in the ‘development’ subsections.
Points for Improvement
Some improvements that Group 5 could make to their already extensive effort include: changing some of the headings in the table to bold so that they are clearer/easier to read; they could also uncapitalise the subheadings under ‘Abnormalities’ to make the page more uniform; and also formatting the images to incorporate them around the text (rather than breaking up the page each time) would improve the flow of information.
Overall Group 5 have already done extensive research as evidenced by the volume of information and various images included in their page, I can see that they have made an effort to address most of the criteria already. The improvements they need to make mainly involve formatting to make the page more student-friendly.
Group 6 Peer Review
Group 6 have shown that they intend to cover the scope of the topic by the subheadings they have added to their page so far (which will allow them to adequately address criteria 1 and 2). The explanations so far are easy to understand from a student’s perspective, and have supporting diagrams to support the information on TGF (which shows they have begun to address criteria 4). Another strength of this page is the inclusion of a ‘Further Reading’ section, which could allow readers to access more relevant information if they wish to do so.
Points for Improvement
Some improvements that Group 6 could make to their page are as follows: Group 6 could format the subheadings so that they do not all fall underneath ‘1.1 Introduction’; furthermore they could add in-text referencing with numbers that link to a ‘References’ section at the bottom of the page; and also Group 6 could improve the formatting of the images to be more incorporated into the flow of the page.
Overall I think Group 6 have formed a good template to add more information on the scope of their topic, and have begun to address some of the criteria. Most importantly I think they should try and address criteria 5 and 6 more adequately, and make a couple of formatting changes to the page so that their well-written explanations are more engaging and organised for a student audience.
Lab 8 Assessment
Completed the quiz during the lab.
|Mark Hill 27 October 2016 - Well done, most correct except for a few concepts. Q2 ureteric bud forms at the end of the mesonephric duct. Q8 Not all options selected for gonad development.||Assessment 6.5/8|
Lab 7 Assessment
What is/are the dystrophin mutation(s)?
The dystrophin gene mutations cause both Duchenne (DMD) and Becker (BMD) muscular dystrophies. The dystrophin gene is the longest known human gene of 2.4 Mb’s on chromosome X, and it codes for the protein dystrophin which is expressed in all striated skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle cells. There are also isoforms expressed in the retina and brain cells. The dystrophin mutations are usually either: deletions of one or more exons (approximately 65%); duplications of exons (approximately 10%); or single point mutations (approximately 15%). If such mutations are out-of-frame they lead to severe deficiency of dystrophin causing DMD disease. The less severe BMD is usually a result of in-frame mutations.  These mutations are recessive and affect approximately 1 in 3500 to 5000 males born worldwide. 
What is the function of dystrophin?
The dystrophin protein is a component of the large protein complex: the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). The DGC spans the sarcolemma (the cell membrane of skeletal muscle fibre cells) binds to surrounding ligands and to dystrophin inside the cell.  This complex is responsible for stabilising the sarcolemma by integrating the components of the cytoskeleton of muscle cells. These interactions of the dystrophin protein with components such as the actin filaments and microtubules of the muscle cell are mediated by dystrophin’s four main functional domains. It has also been found that dystrophin may bind membrane phospholipids to further support its stabilisation of the sarcolemma. 
What other tissues/organs are affected by this disorder?
The heart has been found to be affected by some forms muscular dystrophy, including cardiac complications such as heart failure and/or arrhythmias.  Moreover, respiratory failure due to the breathing muscles becoming weak severely limits the lifespan of DMD patients. 
What therapies exist for DMD?
Extensive research surrounds the use of gene replacement therapy for all mutation-types of DMD. However, the extremely long nature of the dystrophin gene renders it difficult to replace and many other challenges remain such as with the nature of the viral vectors used in gene replacement. A number of other genetics-based approaches are being investigated such as gene product modifiers (exon-skipping) and utrophin modulation strategies.   Pharmacological treatment for DMD involves administration of corticosteroids for suppression of the associated inflammation in the muscles, however this has significant side effects and questionable therapeutic efficacy. 
What animal models are available for muscular dystrophy?
|Mark Hill 13 October 2016 - Good well referenced answers.||Assessment 5/5|
Lab 6 Assessment
Identify a known genetic mutation that is associated with cleft lip or palate
The SATB2 gene mutation has been shown to be associated with Non-syndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate.
Identify a recent research article on this gene
How does this mutation affect developmental signalling in normal development
SATB2 is located at the chromosome position 2q33.1 and encodes an AT-rich sequence binding protein of 733 amino acids. This protein (Satb2) helps to regulate the transcription of large domains of chromatin and is the first cell-type-specific transcription factor to do so.  More specifically, Satb2 carries out transcriptional regulation directly through modulating chromatin remodelling by binding AT-rich sequences in nuclear matrix-attachment regions (MARs) of DNA. It also indirectly, through association with other transcription regulators, modulates cis-regulation elements to control the expression of target genes and downstream biological processes. SATB2 plays a crucial role in development and tissue regeneration, especially in craniofacial development and patterning, formation of the palate, and differentiation and maturation of osteoblasts. It also appears to contribute to development of the central nervous system -particularly the formation of the corpus callosum and pons-, as well as cancer prognosis and development, and the regulation of immune function.  Thus mutation of this gene will lead to perturbations in these functional roles it plays in development.
|Mark Hill 13 October 2016 - This seems to be a relevant gene for palate abnormalities. See also OMIM SATB2||Assessment 5/5|
Lab 5 Assessment
Completed ANAT2341 Lab 5 - Course Feedback Questionnaire
|Mark Hill 13 October 2016 - Questionnaire on course structure.||Assessment 5/5|
Lab 4 Assessment
Gastrointestinal Tract Quiz
|Mark Hill 11 October 2016 - Most of these seem good quiz questions, except Q1 the answer is well structured but the question is not really testing knowledge. Always a problem with these simple true/false options. Q4 is really testing.||Assessment 5/5|
Lab 3 Assessment
|Mark Hill 31 August 2016 - Lab 3 Assessment Quiz - Mesoderm and Ectoderm development. All correct, well done!||Assessment 5/5|
Lab 2 Assessment
Roles and Regulation of SOX2 in Blastocyst Formation
|Mark Hill 29 August 2016 - All information Reference, Copyright and Student Image template correctly included with the file and referenced on your page here. Note though, that the reference subheading in the file summary box should have just <pubmed>25340657</pubmed> to display the reference correctly. You only include the ref name for a citation as shown correctly on your page here.||Assessment 5/5|
Lab 1 Assessment
Main Findings: This investigation compared 121 infertile patients, who were diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) preceding their first IVF cycle, with 470 non-IBD infertile patients receiving IVF. Of the women with IBD, 71 had ulcerative colitis, 49 had Crohn’s disease, and 1 was unclassified. A majority of the IBD patients were not taking any medications during their IVF treatment. Non-IBD and IBD patients had similar age, parity and follicle-stimulating hormone levels on cycle day three. One characteristic that differed slightly was BMI, which was lower in those with ulcerative colitis.
Overall it was found that infertile women with IBD had similar rates of pregnancy and live births after IVF as those of non-IBD infertile women. Cumulative live birth rates were also similar. The study also concluded that it was more common among IBD patients, particularly those with Crohn’s disease, to experience tubal factor infertility as compared to non-IBD patients. Furthermore, live birth rates after IVF treatment were not influenced by prior surgery in patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The results of this study were impacted by several limitations such as: its retrospective approach; confounding factors due to unmeasured variables like activity status; inability to obtain information regarding tobacco usage; and limited generalisability due to the cohort selection procedure.
|Mark Hill 18 August 2016 - You have added the citation correctly and written a good brief summary of the article findings. An interesting paper looking at any possible associations between IVF success and other existing medical conditions, note also that the authors have noted the limitations of their research study findings.||Assessment 5/5|
|Lab 10 - Stem Cell Presentations 2016|
|Group Mark||Assessor General Comments|
Group 1: 15/20
Group 2: 19/20
Group 3: 20/20
Group 4: 19/20
Group 5: 16/20
Group 6: 16/20
|The students put great effort in their presentation and we heard a nice variety of studies in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine today. The interaction after the presentation was great.
As general feedback I would like to advise students to: