Development, Genetic Control Of - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Development, Genetic Control Of

Development is the process through which a multicellular organism arises from a single cell. During development, cells become specialized, or differentiated, taking on different functions and forms. The organism develops a characteristic three-dimensional shape, the parts of which (such as limbs and organs) continue to maintain the same relationship to each other even as the organism grows. How the genes in a single fertilized egg dictate the creation of a complex multicellular creature is the central question in the genetic control of development.

While we are often most curious about human developmental processes, very little is known about the genetics of human development specifically, because experimentation on human embryos is forbidden by law and ethics. Instead, the details of genetic control are best understood in several model organisms, including the roundworm (Caenorhabditis elegans), the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), the zebrafish, and the...

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This section contains 2,079 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Development, Genetic Control Of from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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