Developmental biology is the study of the processes in which multicellular organisms develop and grow as they are controlled by their genes. This field of biology basically includes the study of the mechanisms of development as well as differentiation and growth in both plants and animals at the cellular, molecular, genetic, and evolutionary stages. Developmental biology encompasses the production of fertilization, gametes, the development of embryos into the adult organism, senescence, and even the death of an organism.
It is the job of developmental biologists to try to understand the cellular, molecular, genetic, and integrative parts in the development of organisms. They also work to understand any type of underlying animal, plant, and fungal development in organisms and how they change during the evolution process. In their studies in this field, developmental biologists utilize biochemistry, genomics, microscopy, genetics, and an array of other tools to explore the development in several of types of organisms.
Developmental biology also includes the study of the biology of regeneration and asexual reproduction along with metamorphosis and even the growth and differentiation of stem cells as an organism changes into adulthood.
When it comes to life science developmental biology, biologists study and the development of the embryo from the fertilization of an egg cell to the formation of a functional and very well-structured multicellular organism. This is very important when it comes to life sciences as it is the basis for research into things like fertility, human diseases, the sustainability of food, and even the biological responses of things that can affect human beings and animals, including global warming and environmental pollution. This is extremely important when it comes to eradicating diseases and increasing fertility rates.
In reference to whole organisms or organs, developmental biology help scientists answer questions, such as “how does the liver develop?” or “how does the brain in a person or animal develop?” It also looks at organisms, including trees, and answers the questions, “how do the tree’s limbs form?” or “how do the leaves grow into certain shapes and positions throughout the tree?” Developmental biologists use research to answer these types of questions and start by working to identify the genes or the gene networks that regulate the different developmental processes in a chosen plant or animal. They can even manipulate the functionality of the genes or eliminate some of them to achieve different types of developmental outcomes. Their findings often tell them how the involved genes and processes function when it comes to health and well-being as well as developmental disorders in human beings, plants, and animals which can then help direct their research in the biomedical field.
Developmental biology also helps biologists conduct experiments to achieve tissue engineering. This process includes the growing of tissues in a plastic dish that can possibly replace diseased tissues. For example, cells change and can even lose their original identity when they are affected by cancer then move to other parts of the body in a process called metastases. The process of learning how this works can then lead to cures for different types of cancer.
To study different types of developmental biology on your own at home, there are many experiments you can do, including the two different experiments listed below.
Extracting Your DNA
You can extract your own DNA at home by using everyday products that you may already have one hand. You can use a fruit or vegetable or your own saliva to study. Each one of the cells in your body contains DNA which is your very own molecular blueprint.
To conduct this experiment, you will need the following items:
A clean shot glass
Saliva from your own mouth
Pineapple juice, meat tenderizer, or contact cleansing solution
Chilled alcohol that is 120 proof or higher
A drinking straw
You now need to fill the shot glass at least 1/4 of the way full of your saliva by spitting into it. You can now add a few drops of the dishwashing liquid into the shot glass that will break open the cells from your saliva which is a process referred to as lysing. Now add in a tiny bit of the pineapple juice or one of the other options which will get rid of any proteins that have been extracted from your cells along with your DNA. Now you can add in a pinch of table salt which will cause your DNA to start clumping. You can now swirl the shot glass to mix the ingredients well. You can now fill the rest of your shot glass with the high-proof alcohol you are using which should sit on top of the mixture you already created. You may find it works better to add the alcohol a little at a time with a drinking straw. Now you can use your toothpick to move around the cloudy material that has formed in the glass which may remind you of snot.
Now put some of the white cloudy substance that you have created under a microscope, or you can add some methylene blue which is a dye commonly used in biology labs. You can see the cell division that is occurring in your DNA.
The easiest way to create bacteria or yeast at home is through the process of fermentation. People have been using these types of microorganisms for centuries to make food and even beer at home.
You have many options to choose from including yogurt, sauerkraut, or cheese. You just need a starter culture of fungi or bacteria that will make the food you will then be fermenting. You can get this from someone who is already conducting fermentation at home or purchase it online. Keep in mind that you always want to buy quality products for any type of experiments that you do at home.
Depending on the fermented foods you are using, You will need to follow instructions that are found throughout the Internet in many different tutorials so that you can create the proper conditions and use the types of starter agreements you need to modify the taste and texture of the food.
To locate a reputable source for information and quality products for your experiments, check out the site for Modern Biology, Inc. which offers an array of information and products to choose from.