Special Issue | 6 June 2013Mysteries of Development

Despite new methods to probe the development of an animal or plant from a single cell, biologists have much to learn. The mysteries offered here are a humbling reminder that our knowledge of this unimaginably complex process remains to a great extent embryonic.

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Mysteries of Development

Development is, literally, the journey of a life time, and it is a trip still as mysterious as it is remarkable...
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How Do Organs Know When They Have Reached the Right Size?

Developmental biologists have found dozens of proteins and genes that play a role in the growth of plants and animals, such as imaginal discs and Hippo and morphogenetic proteins, but not what determines organ size.
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Why Do So Many Neurons Commit Suicide During Brain Development?

Scientists have identified at least two, and possibly three, waves of neuronal cell death in the embryonic mammalian brain during development.
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How Do Microbes Shape Animal Development?

There is a growing realization that microbes and their genes are partners in each animal’s journey from egg to adult.
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How Does Fetal Environment Influence Later Health?

There’s broad agreement that the fetal world, the most rapid period of human growth and development, shapes one’s risk of future disease, although how much influence it has remains uncertain.
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Under Development

Much of what we know about the journey from single cell to mature organism involves what happens when things go awry. Here are five more mysteries of what happens when genes are working as they should.

See Also:

  • 12 October 2012 Special Issue

    Forces in Development

    issue cover
  • 7 June 2013 Special SectionMorphogenesis - Special Section

More from the Mysteries Series:

Mysteries of the Issue Cover

Mysteries of the Cell

We live in the golden age of genetics, but the fundamental unit of biology is still arguably the cell. Scientists at the 2011 American Society for Cell Biology's annual meeting detailed their latest insights and data.


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