Biology Lab

EGMT 1520: Monsters, Mutants, and Master Genes - What Can Frogs Teach Us About Humans?


"Every animal form is the product of two processes-development from an egg and evolution from its ancestors," --- Sean B. Carroll (Evolutionary Developmental Biologist). We marvel at the process of an egg, becoming an adult, and how our body works in health and disease. This inquiry-based course will show you how development and evolution combined shape these processes. Scientific research done in frogs has played a prominent role in the recent history of cell and developmental biology. Developmental Biology is asking fundamental questions at the level of whole organisms, organs, or tissues. It has been and continues to be most useful in delivering explanations for diseases or medically relevant processes including infertility, birth defects (e.g., deformation, developmental brain disorders, deafness), cancer, wound healing, tissue regeneration, etc. Frogs are  an invaluable tool to screen a large number of potential disease-causing genes identified from human patients. We will apply the scientific method and learn how scientists have experimentally approached these problems in biology. This course will then enable you to evaluate and make decisions about the scientific information about human health you come across every day.