Developmental Biology and Neurology

Developmental Biology and Neurology


  • Explanation of what developmental biology and neurobiology are

Developmental biology studies the process of development that occurs in plants and animals. It involves comprehending the changes that occur within cells at the nuclear level. In comparison, neurobiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the entire nervous system. This branch talks about everything related to the nervous system, such as the development and maturation of neurons and the conduction of synapses.

  • A brief overview of why developmental biology and neurobiology are important

To understand how the human body functions, it is important to understand the nuclear structure of the cells. Understanding developmental biology and neurobiology puts one in a better position to understand the occurrence of a disease and in a better situation to create a successful treatment plan.

Developmental Biology

  • Explanation of what developmental biology is

It is the branch of science that studies the various processes concerning cell formation and embryo development. While studying developmental biology, one gets to deeply understand homogeneous and heterogeneous organisms, along with gamete formation.

  • Key and important concepts in developmental biology (e.g., gene expression, cell differentiation, morphogenesis)

Here are some of the popular concepts discussed under the subject of developmental biology:

  1. Gene expression — biologists aim to understand how characteristics are displayed based on the existing genes. For instance, an offspring of a blue-eyed mother and a green-eyed father turns out to have brown eyes. This is possible when both of the parents have the gene for brown colour as a recessive gene. While during gamete formation, the offspring receives both these recessive genes.
  2. Cell differentiation — most cells in the human body are pluripotent (which is capable of giving rise to different cell types).  These cells attain a definite shape, size, and function on maturation. This is what happens during cell differentiation.
  3. Morphogenesis — in this field, biologists understand how some organisms can achieve a definite shape by the spatial distribution of cells.
  • Examples of how developmental biology research has contributed to our understanding of human development and disease

Here are some common examples to understand the contribution of developmental biology towards human development:

  1. Stem cell therapy — the cord blood is rich in pluripotent cells that can help cure several diseases and help in organ formation with the help of differentiation.
  1. Understanding evolution — over the past few centuries, there have been constant changes in the body structure of Homo sapiens, for instance, the head size.


  • Explanation of what neurobiology is

Neurobiology is the branch of science that deals with the neural conduction and development of the body’s nervous system. This medical stream helps us understand the chemical and neurotransmission within the body. This makes it easier to identify any existing disease concerning the nervous system.

  • Key concepts in neurobiology 

Here are some key concepts in neurobiology that one must know of:

  1. Neural plasticity — neural plasticity or neuroplasticity is a unique feature of the brain’s neural cells. As per growth and requirements, they must also regroup into a network by reorganizing.
  2. Neurotransmitters — these are chemicals that help transmit signals and relay messages from the brain or the peripheral nervous system to the rest of the body. 
  3. Synaptic transmission — synaptic transmission is an exchange of information between two neurons. During this, a chemical signal is indicated, which alters the existing cellular activity.

Developmental Neurobiology

Developmental neurobiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the development of the nervous system and neurons at a molecular level. Various disbalances can occur in a body due to poor neuron development. This field of medicine talks about the development of neurons and their maturation, alteration in size, and ability to reorganize in times of need, specification, etc. It also talks about the chemical interaction between two neurons within the nervous system. These studies help in identifying the exact problem associated with various neurological diseases, thus, helping in better treatment planning.

Intersection of Developmental Biology And Neurobiology

Developmental biology and neurobiology are highly interrelated at the most basic level. A popular subsection of this study is neurogenomics. This branch deals with understanding the developmental evolution of the nervous system.

  • Examples of how studying the intersection of these fields have contributed to our understanding of both brain development and disease 

One of the most popular examples of how studying developmental biology and neurobiology has improved our understanding of brain development and disease assessment is the role of gene expression in neural development and disease. A specific precursor with bLHL factors helps in directly controlling the progenitor cells. It further helps in neuronal differentiation.

Applications and Implications

  • Discussion of potential applications of developmental biology and neurobiology research 

There has been major interdisciplinary research going on in relation to developmental biology and neurobiology. This research mainly focuses on understanding the molecular levels of the neurons and chemicals involved in the synapse. Based on this, disease diagnosis and drug therapy are studied. Here are some of the most successful interactions:

  1. Regenerative medicine — regenerative medicine is the branch of science that aids cell regeneration. These medicines help replace old and damaged cells with new and healthy ones. Regenerative medicines help speed up this process for better prognosis and effective treatment therapy. A popularly administered drug is dextrose solution, given directly at the site of injury.
  2. Drug development — drug development has proven to be more effective when clinicians know the exact reason for the disease. For instance, with the recent interactions of developmental biology and neurology, it has been found that in patients with schizophrenia, there is a major chemical disbalance. This can be altered and maintained by specific drug development.


These two branches of medicine are fairly new in existence. With the combination of these two branches, there is a bright scope for new upcoming treatment modalities for diseases affecting the nervous system. These studies help in a better understanding of the human body. They can completely change the scope of medicine in the future.

Content Authored By: Ayushi Hisaria

Alekh Kumar

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