Hello, I am Cheryll Tickle, an Emeritus professor at
the University of Bath and this lecture introduces developmental biology.
Developmental biology is the study of how
a single cell, the fertilized egg, gives rise to a new organism.
This is surely one of the most inspiring processes in
biology and has fascinated scientists since ancient times.
In just over seven weeks,
a fertilized human egg, shown here on the left,
gives rise to an embryo with many recognizable features.
For example, the head with the eye can clearly be seen as can the arms and the legs.
Developmental biology, while focusing on embryonic development,
also covers events that occur after birth,
postnatally, such as growth and aging.
Developmental mechanisms are also involved in regeneration,
which is the ability of an adult organism to replace missing parts.
As development is fundamental to evolution,
evolutionary developmental biology, sometimes called
evo-devo is a very active area of research.