About This Simulation
Embryology provides evidence of relatedness between now widely divergent groups of organisms. Mutational tweaking in the embryo can have such magnified consequences in the adult, that embryo formation tends to be conserved. As a result, structures that are absent in some groups often appear in their embryonic forms and disappear by the time the adult or juvenile form is reached. For example, all vertebrate embryos, including humans, exhibit gill slits and tails at some point in their early development. These disappear in the adults of terrestrial groups, but are maintained in adult forms of aquatic groups such as fish and some amphibians. Great ape embryos, including humans, have a tail structure during their development that is lost by the time of birth.
In the Embryology simulation, you will perform experiments with the chicken and mouse model organisms. You will observe embryos in different developmental stages and use molecular biology techniques to study the limb development of vertebrates. Your goal is to identify the causes of the mysterious Liebenberg syndrome. Will you be able to figure out why the arms of Liebenberg patients look like legs?