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Comparative Review from an Evo-Devo Perspective


1.Pick an interesting concept/mechanism/pathway in plant/animal development that you think shows broad conservation between species (e.g. a signaling pathway, a developmental mechanism, a family of transcription factors or a broad topic like limb patterning or stem cells) and write an “evo-devo” article.

2.Your article will be a “comparative review” written from an “evo-devo” perspective. Assume that your audience ranges from students to senior scientists so your article must be accessible to a wide readership so use plain language and be accurate and precise throughout.

3.Structure:  your term paper should be organized the same way as a standard scientific review paper having the following sections:
Review (with subsections as appropriate and figures)
Conclusions/Future Directions

Have a look at a review articles in the major journals (e.g. Cell, Genes and Development, Nature Reviews or similar). Observe how a review is organized.

4.Content. Your “evo-devo” article should begin with a clear introduction to subject of your review (e.g. limb development) as well as define the scope of the review. The review itself should give a description of the concept/mechanism/process as it applies to a reference organism (e.g. limb development in mouse). With this clearly explained, relate this concept/mechanism/process to another organism/group of organisms where an interesting comparison can be made (e.g. wing development in chick or bats). Your article should highlight areas of conservation as well as discuss notable areas where divergence has occurred and the significance of these changes.
For example if your review is on limb development what key adaptations in the basic pathway for limb development allows wings to be formed instead of limbs and (if known) which form is considered ancestral?
    Your article should finish with a strong take home message and some future perspectives. For example:
?What key questions remain?
?What next steps are required in filling some of these gaps?
?Highlight any applications of the knowledge (e.g. relevance to human health, agriculture, biotechnology, or conservation)

Guideline: your article cannot be completely descriptive – it must incorporate a molecular component. This guideline recognizes that changes in gene function and expression are at the root of evolutionary processes.

5.References. While it is useful to consult textbooks and “classic papers” remember that articles published more than five years ago may contain out-of-date information. The majority of your references should be recent.

Acceptable references include:
    -primary literature articles (classic papers and recent findings)
    -review articles (good as a starting point for assembling background information and deciding on scope)
    -textbooks (background information)
    -Websites are NOT suitable references for this project

Formatting. Please use 12 point font, 1 inch margins, and 1.5 or double spacing. Please number the pages of the manuscript. The main text of the review (not including abstract, figures, and references) should be about 2000 words (a minimum of 6 pages and not more than 10 pages long). Figures are desirable. Please tailor them to your article by removing non-relevant details. Figures should also have a Figure Legend and be properly cited (e.g. modified from Smith et al. 2008)

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