Mechanisms of Morphogenesis

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9780122046513: Mechanisms of Morphogenesis

Morphogenesis is the set of processes that generate shape and form in the embryo - an important area within developmental biology. An exciting and up to the minute account of the very latest research into the factors that create biological form, "Mechanisms of Morphogenesis" is a text reference on the mechanisms of cell and tissue morphogenesis in a diverse array of organisms including prokaryotes, animals, plants and fungi. By combining hard data with computer modelling, this book will equip readers with a much broader understanding of the scope of modern research than is otherwise available. The book focuses on the ways in which the genetic programme is translated to generate cell shape, to direct cell migration, and to produce the shape, form and rates of growth of the various tissues. Each topic is illustrated with experimental data from real systems, with particular reference to gaps in current knowledge and pointers to future research. It includes over 200 four-color figures. It offers an integrated view of theoretical developmental biology and computer modelling with laboratory-based discoveries. It covers experimental techniques as a guide to the reader. It is organized around principles and mechanisms, using them to integrate discoveries from a range of organisms and systems.

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"...written in acessible prose. Each chapter outlines experiments that explore a basic central concept. The book is richly illustrated with drawings and well supported by an impressive, up-to-date literature base. Young scientists could profit immensely from this book, as it points out to potential avenues of further fruitful research. For the established researcher, the book will provide an excellent update on current advances, and several simple exercises provided in footnotes will be useful in the classroom. Davies wisely makes no attempt to provide comprehensive coverage, but uses persuasive logic to draw out the robust argument that although form is ultimately dependent on cells constructing tissues, complexity in biological sytems can and does arise by simple mechanisms at the cellular level. The result is a unique perspective on a set of problems of fundamental importance to molecular, cell and developmental biologists." -Chris B. Cameron, University of Montreal, in BIOSCIENCE "This beautiful book presents an overview of new concepts in this exciting field...an excellent guide for a seminar course...carefully edited and a joy to read. The color illustrations are beautifully prepared and informative...Each chapter includes an extensive bibliography enabling the reader to gain immediate access to the literature. The author provides an excellent blend of theory and experimental biology. The problems faced by the embryo are identified and experimental findings are interpreted. The grand unifying theme is 'adaptive self-organization'. This is the kind of interpretation and integration of science that is so valuable. It is refreshing to read a book that provides more than just a simple list of isolated facts...I highly recommend it for biologists, as well as students of biophysics and bioengineering. It provides a great overview of major findings and new paradigms in the study of biological structure and function." -Bruce A Fenderson, Ph.D, Thomas Jefferson University for DOODY'S

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