Medical Degree Program in China - Developmental Biology

 1. Introduction

Developmental Biology is one of the important basic branches of biological science, the research content has mutual infiltration and intricate connections with the content of many other disciplines, especially the relationship with genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology is the most close. Developmental biology studies and analyzes the process and mechanism of organisms from the occurrence of sperm and egg, fertilization and development, growth until aging and death by application of modern science and technology and methods, from the molecular level, submicroscopic level and cell level.
2. Research Scope
Developmental biology studies the whole process of life of an organism, from female and male germ cell development, formation, until the individual aging. Developmental biology is a discipline that has a wide application prospect, research on germ cells occurrence, fertilization is the theoretical basis of production application technology development, like artificial animal and plant breeding, genetics and breeding, animal embryo and reproduction engineering.
3. Research Objects
Developmental biology studies the individual development of animals and the individual development of plants.
4. Research Content
From the perspective of embryology, ontogenesis starts from the moment of fertilization, because egg develops only after fertilizing, but developmental biology should date ontogenesis back to egg formation. Because the egg not only passively accumulates nutrients during growing up, but also synthesizes the material needed in the development of next generation, especially in the early period by gene activity in the cell nucleus.
5. Research Methods
Studying the structure of gene, moment of transcription, nature of translation certainly uses the method of molecular biology; studying changes of certain ultrastructure in the development should apply electron microscopy; studying a protein, cell membrane receptor may need immune science and technology, if to study a cell terminal differentiation in vitro, or different tissues in the formation of a certain structure of interaction, cell culture or tissue culture technology is inseparable, obviously, at any level, or study what problem, decides to use what technology.
6. Research Significance
Study the development mechanism of human beings to seek human health, which has great practical significance. Control of population and birth, safer and more effective contraceptive measures can be taken only after having a better understanding of the formation of reproductive cells, ovulation, fertilization and a series of processes. Human abnormalities may come from genetic, drug effects, and other reasons, but they are in the development process, it should be understood from the perspective of development to prevent. Cancer is actually abnormal cell differentiation; the cancer control needs to have a deep understanding of the growth and differentiation of normal. Third, aging is actually the development of one aspect or a stage, understanding on the aging process is dependent on the understanding all life processes in the cell, tissue and even to the growing body, on this basis can ageing be controlled.
7. Effects
Developmental biology is one of the most active areas in contemporary life science research, on the one hand, it combines the molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology,, immunology, embryology, evolutionary biology and ecology etc., with the integrated use to reveal the essential law of life development;
On the other hand, the development research already exists in various fields in biology, becoming the basic elements of other disciplines, developmental biology research and development will promote the development of other disciplines.
As a result, developmental biology is one of the important basic subjects. Developmental biology has close relationship with medical health, agricultural production and biological resources, such as the mechanism of fertilization and early embryonic development mechanism, tumor, AIDS, abnormal growth and aging mechanism is revealed, has a profound impact on family planning, prenatal and postnatal care, healthy living and agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry production.
8. Applications
Developmental biology has a very wide application prospect and research on germ cells occurrence, fertilization is the theoretical basis of production application technology development, like artificial animal and plant breeding, genetics and breeding, animal embryo and reproduction engineering. The cell differentiation mechanism and gene expression regulation and pattern formation and biological function study of the relationship between is basis to solve many medical problems (such as the basis for prevention and treatment of cancer) humans face and organ and tissue culture emerging project of medical industry development, but also the development of genetic engineering for mature practical technology.
9. Prospect
Achievement of developmental biology brings a big step on the problems put forward by experimental embryology in some aspects, but on certain issues, such as germ layer formation, how to produce tissue and organs based on the germ layers, have little progress. Using analysis of molecular biology technology, structure of some genes, even including the regulatory fragments, have already been known, but on the regulatory role of protein, in eukaryotes is less understood, regulating genes in the development of the time and space, should be the important direction, regulatory protein is the gene product, gene product reverse and the regulation of gene expression, apparently at the molecular level also exist such a unity of opposites.

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Anhui Medical University

Wenzhou Medical University

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