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Trends Cell Biol. 2002 Jul;12(7):316-20.

A new dawn for an old connection: development meets the cell.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University, 701 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Increasingly, the attention of developmental biologists is being drawn from genes and their products towards cells, from processes mediated by linear pathways in which one protein regulates the activity of another to events that rely on multimolecular machines. Some components of these machines are partially redundant, and some have essential functions in general cellular processes. These observations invite a reassessment of the uses of genetics for analyzing the cell biology of development. In addition, the increasing ability to image live cells and their proteins reveals a complex and interesting world, forcing us to deal with new variables and objects of study. Here, we provide a glimpse of these changes and the challenges they raise.

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