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We visualise developmental biology as the study ofprogressive changes that occurwithin cells, tissues and organisms themselves during their life span. A good exampleofa field ofdevelopmentalbiology in whichthis conceptis encapsulatedis thatofsomitogenesis. The somitewas identifiedas the primordialunit underlyingthe segmentedorganisationofvertebrates more than two centuries ago. The spectacular discoveries and achievements inmolecularbiologyin the last fifty years have created a gene-basedrevolution in both the sorts ofquestions as well as the approaches one can use in developmental biology today. Largely as a resultofthis, during the 20th and 21st centuries this simple structure, the somite, has been the focus ofa deluge ofpapers addressingmultipleaspectsofsomiteformation and patterning both at the cellularand molecular level. One ofthe mainreasons for suchinterest in the process ofsomitogenesis stems from the fact that it is such an exquisitelybeautiful example ofbiology working under strict temporal and spatial control in a reiterative manner that is highly conserved across the vertebrate classes. Our intention is that this book will be ofinterest to different kinds ofscientists, includingbasic researchers, pathologists, anatomists, teachersandstudentsworking in the fields ofcell and developmentalbiology. The nine chapterscoverawide array of topics that endeavour to capture the spirit of this dynamic and ever-expanding disciplineby integratingboth contemporaryresearchwith the classical embryological literaturethat concentratedon descriptionsofmorphologicalchanges inembryos and the interactionsofcells and tissues during development. Inso doingthey encompass the main aspects ofsomitogenesis across four vertebrate classes (frog, fish, mouse and chick) and the hope is that this will enable readers to acquire an appreciationof this developmentalprocess in all its facets.

Author Biography

MIGUEL MAROTO is a MRC Career Development Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Dundee, UK. He received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Department of Biochemistry of the Universidad Autonoma of Madrid, Spain. His research interests include investigating the biochemical basis of different signalling mechanisms implicated in the acquisition of specific cell fates during vertebrate development. In recent years he has been involved in the analysis of the mechanism of the molecular clock in the control of the process of somitogenesis. NEIL V. WHITTOCK gained his PhD in Human Molecular Genetics whilst working at Guys' and St Thomas' Hospitals in London, UK. His research focussed on developing diagnostic genetic tests for Duchenne muscular dystrophy before moving on to identifying genes involved in bullous skin disorders. He then continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Dundee before arriving at the University of Exeter where he spent three years working alongside Dr Peter Turnpenny. The work at Exeter focussed on the identification of genes involved in human genetic disorders that affected the development of the spine and ribs, specifically the spondylocostal dysostoses. He now works as an Ambulance Technician in Devon, UK. and runs his own antique clock restoration business.
Release date NZ
August 14th, 2008
Edited by Miguel Maroto Edited by Neil V. Whittock
Country of Publication
United States
2009 ed.
13 Tables, black and white; 47 Illustrations, black and white; VIII, 194 p. 47 illus.
Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
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