Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a technique for cloning. The nucleus is removed from a healthy egg. This egg becomes the host for a nucleus that is transplanted from another cell, such as a skin cell. The resulting embryo can be used to generate embryonic stem cells with a genetic match...
Meiosis, the form of cell division unique to egg and sperm production, sets the stage for sex determination by creating sperm that carry either an X or a Y sex chromosome. But what is it about the X or Y that determines sex?
In the stickleback fish, pelvic-fin reduction resulted from changes in the regulatory switch elements of the Pitx1 gene. In the marine ancestor, the Pitx1 gene is activated in the pelvic-fin region during development to generate the fin. In the pelvic-reduced stickleback, the regulatory...
The inner cell mass (ICM) cells of blastocyst-stage early human embryos can be removed and cultured. These cells can be grown in the lab indefinitely. Various growth factors cause these cells to develop into a variety of differentiated cells, such as muscle or nerve cells.
Cytoplasmic factors play a significant part in determining how a cell develops. This segment discusses their importance in turning the appropriate genes on and off for proper development.
The fetal brain grows enormously during pregnancy, both in terms of its size and the number of neurons it has.
As a human embryo develops, its cells become progressively restricted in the types of specialized cells that they can produce. Inner cell mass (ICM) cells of the blastocyst can make any type of body cell. Gastrula-stage cells can give rise to the cells of a given germ layer. Later, cells become...
Human embryonic development depends on stem cells. During the course of development, cells divide, migrate, and specialize. Early in development, a group of cells called the inner cell mass (ICM) forms. These cells are able to produce all the tissues of the body. Later in development, during...
Most of the neurons of the cerebral cortex arise from progenitor cells that undergo repeated cell division.
This animation shows how MIX-1 facilitates both chromosome condensation and dosage compensation.
This animation shows how the random deactivation of one of the X chromosomes in a pair can lead to a mozaicism in the expression genes.