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The Molecular Metamorphosis of Experimental Embryology

Fraser, Scott E. and Harland, Richard M. (2000) The Molecular Metamorphosis of Experimental Embryology. Cell, 100 (1). pp. 41-55. ISSN 0092-8674. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81682-7.

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Most embryologists have been drawn to the field by the beauty of the developing embryo and the mystery of its structure emerging from a single fertilized egg. The classic publications in the field of experimental embryology illustrate the power of describing cell behavior (cf. lineages, movements) and perturbing the embryo to test hypotheses of the underlying mechanisms. This tight coupling between observation, hypothesis, and perturbation has extracted significant insights from relatively simple experimental designs. For example, by analyzing eggs that had been fertilized by more than one sperm, Boveri showed the importance of a full set of chromosomes to normal development and thus established the chromosomes as the source of genetic material (Boveri 1907). Simple perturbation experiments designed to destroy the genetic information offered some of the first evidence that information in the chromosomes depended on intact DNA (Boveri 1904). Thus, the basic approach of the experimental embryologist—an integrative cycle between description, proposal, and experimentation—has generated insights that are amazing in their accuracy and depth.

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Fraser, Scott E.0000-0002-5377-0223
Harland, Richard M.0000-0001-8247-4880
Additional Information:© 2000 Cell Press. Available online 27 September 2000. The thinking represented in this review draws a great deal from the lectures, discussions, and arguments that surround the embryology course of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole. The authors wish to thank, in addition to those in their home laboratories, the many faculty, students, and organizers of the course over the past decade tor helping to shape the synthesis attempted here. While the credit for the concepts presented here should go to this diverse and interactive group. the authors must accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or misconceptions.
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Official Citation:Scott E Fraser, Richard M Harland, The Molecular Metamorphosis of Experimental Embryology, Cell, Volume 100, Issue 1, 7 January 2000, Pages 41-55, ISSN 0092-8674, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63899
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:22 Jan 2016 20:26
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:23

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