Molecular Development - Genetics

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Introduction

Genetics and embryology have merged to such an extent that the two cannot now be separated from each other. The strong evolutionary conservation of developmental mechanisms has been astounding. Currently, much of modern medicine is a search for a disease gene and having found it, embryology is usually employed in understanding its mechanism. Embryological development is after all the opportunity for a specific genome to be expressed, regulated and utilized as it will never be again in the adult animal.

In combination with our statistical understanding of congenital abnormalities there now exist a large number of clinical tests for inherited abnormalities. This particular section of the notes is a link to bind our understanding of genetics with its relevance to development. There are several pages on DNA and links from the computer activities below to relevant sections. You can jump right in and look through the DNA database for a gene of interest using a keyword, or browse through the human genome by chromosome or by genetic diseases that have been identified. Or you can work through an exercise in using genetic databases for diseases.

See also the list of gene knockouts which has made the geneticists not only use embryological tools, but also go back and learn some embryology.