Reproduction and Development
Species transcend individual life spans through reproduction. Asexual reproduction produces genetically identical offspring. Sexual reproduction produces offspring that have a combination of genes inherited from each parent’s specialized sex cells (gametes). The processes of gamete production, fertilization, and development follow an orderly sequence of events. Zygotes contain all the information necessary for growth, development, and eventual reproduction of the organism. Development is a highly regulated process involving mitosis and differentiation. Reproduction and development are subject to environmental impact. Human development, birth, and aging should be viewed as a predictable pattern of events. Reproductive technology has medical, agricultural, and ecological applications.