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Left-right asymmetry in animal development.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309-0347, USA.


Most animal species exhibit left-right asymmetry in their body plans and show a strong bias for one handedness over the other. The mechanism of handedness choice, recognized as an intriguing problem over a century ago, is still a mystery. However, from recent advances in understanding when and how asymmetry arises in both invertebrates and vertebrates, developmental pathways for establishment and maintenance of left-right differences are beginning to take shape, and speculations can be made on the initial choice mechanism.

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