and Environment in Development

Genes and Environment in Development

Developmental Genetics

Even though the genome is clearly the primary source of information that controls and specifies human development, the role of genes in development is often mistakenly described as a “master blueprint.” In reality, however, the genome does not resemble an architect’s blueprint that specifies precisely how the materials are to be used, how they are to be assembled, and their final dimensions; it is not a literal description of the final form that all embryological and fetal structures will take. Rather, the genome specifies a set of interacting proteins and noncoding RNAs (see Chapter 3) that set in motion the processes of growth, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis that ultimately result, with a high degree of probability, in the correct mature structures. Thus, for example, there are no genetic instructions directing that the phalanx of a digit adopt an hourglass shape or that the eye be spherical. These shapes arise as an implicit consequence of developmental processes, thereby generating correctly structured cells, tissues, and organs.


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Nov 27, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on and Environment in Development

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