Publications

Organisers and Genes (1940), by Conrad Hal Waddington

By Adam R. Navis

Conrad Hal Waddington's Organisers and Genes, published in 1940, is a summary of available research and theoretical framework for many concepts related to tissue differentiation in the developing embryo. The book is composed of two main conceptual sections. The first section explores the action and nature of the organizer, while the second section delves into genes and their influence on development.

Created 2007-10-30

Last modified 2 years 9 months ago

Format: Articles

Morphogenesis: An Essay on Development (1952), by John Tyler Bonner

By Mary E. Sunderland

Throughout his long and fruitful career John Tyler Bonner has made great strides in understanding basic issues of embryology and developmental-evolutionary biology. Indeed, Bonner's work on morphogenesis highlighted synergies between development and evolution long before "evo-devo" became a part of the scientific lingua franca. Princeton University Press published his first book, Morphogenesis: An Essay on Development, in 1952. In his autobiography Lives of a Biologist, Bonner described his motivations for writing Morphogenesis as a book about developmental biology.

Created 2008-05-09

Last modified 2 years 9 months ago

Format: Articles

Leonardo da Vinci's Embryological Annotations

By Hilary Gilson

Among his myriad scientific and artistic contributions, Leonardo da Vinci's work in embryology was groundbreaking. He observed and diagramed the previously undemonstrated position of the fetus in the womb with detailed accompanying annotations of his observations. Leonardo was highly paranoid of plagiarism and wrote all of his notes in mirror-like handwriting laden with his own codes, making his writing difficult to discern and delaying its impact.

Created 2008-08-19

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

De Formato Foetu (c. 1600), by Girolamo Fabrici

By Hilary Gilson

The embryological treatise De formato foetu (The Formed Fetus) was written by anatomist and embryologist Girolamo Fabrici. There is no conclusive evidence regarding the first date of publication and what is listed on many copies ranges from 1600-1620, with speculation that the dates were altered by hand. Most forms of the book are dated 1600 and were issued by Franciscus Bolzetta who sold many copies in Venice and whose name appears on the engraved title-page. There is also verification of the book being printed in Padua by Laurentius Pasquatus in 1604.

Created 2008-08-27

Last modified 2 years 9 months ago

Format: Articles

De Formatione Ovi et Pulli (1621), by Girolamo Fabrici

By Hilary Gilson

The embryological treatise De formatione ovi et pulli (On the Formation of the Egg and of the Chick) was written by anatomist and embryologist Girolamo Fabrici and published in Padua posthumously in 1621. The book was edited by Joahannes Prevotius and is separated into two parts that describe Fabrici's observations and assumptions on embryology and combine the traditional knowledge of his predecessors with his own first-hand anatomical observations.

Created 2008-09-30

Last modified 2 years 9 months ago

Format: Articles

The Biological Bulletin

By Jane Maienschein

From 1886 to 1889 Charles Otis Whitman was director of the Allis Lake Laboratory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The lab was established by Edward Phelps Allis, Jr. to provide a place for biological research separate from a university setting and a place where an independent scholar like Allis himself could work. Allis had hired Whitman as an instructor to establish the lab, direct it, and lead a research program there. The lab lasted for eight years, attracted several researchers, and the papers that came out of the lab included a focus on embryology.

Created 2008-10-24

Last modified 3 days 8 hours ago

Format: Articles

"Mechanistic Science and Metaphysical Romance" (1915), by Jacques Loeb

By Steve Elliott

Jacques Loeb published "Mechanistic Science and Metaphysical Romance" in 1915. His goal for the article was to outline his conception of mechanistic science and its relation to other methods of inquiry. Loeb argued that mechanistic science was the foundation of knowledge and humanity's progress depended on it. Loeb's argument altered the account of science he offered in The Mechanistic Conception of Life insofar as scientists no longer aimed merely to control nature, but also to understand nature s underlying elements and their mechanical relations.

Created 2009-06-08

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Ovum Humanum: Growth, Maturation, Nourishment, Fertilization and Early Development (1960), by Landrum Brewer Shettles

By Stephen C. Ruffenach

Ovum Humanum was written and compiled by Dr. Landrum Brewer Shettles while he worked as a doctor in New York. The publication contains an atlas of photographs of the human egg cell that Shettles took while working at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Stechert-Hafner, Inc, a publishing company based in New York City, published the book in 1960. The book presents a collection of color photographs that shows detail of the human egg that had never been seen before, providing a reference for scientists and doctors that documented the anatomy of these cells.

Created 2009-07-21

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

The Organism as a Whole: From a Physicochemical Viewpoint (1916), by Jacques Loeb

By Steve Elliott

Jacques Loeb published The Organism as a Whole: From a Physicochemical Viewpoint in 1916. Loeb's goal for the book was to refute the claim that physics and chemistry were powerless to completely explain whole organisms and their seemingly goal-oriented component processes. Loeb used his new account of science and scientific explanation, marshaling evidence from his embryological researches, to show that physicochemical biology completely and correctly explained whole organisms and their component processes.

Created 2010-05-06

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

The Time Has Come: A Catholic Doctor's Proposals to End the Battle over Birth Control (1963), by John Rock

By Christina Raup

In 1963, Roman Catholic fertility doctor John Rock published The Time Has Come: A Catholic Doctor's Proposals to End the Battle over Birth Control, a first-person treatise on the use of scientifically approved forms of birth control for Catholic couples. The first contraceptive pill, called Enovid, had been on the market since June 1960, and Rock was one of the leading researchers in its development. In The Time Has Come, Rock explicitly describes the arguments for and against the use of birth control from both a religious and a scientific perspective.

Created 2010-06-10

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Genetic Programming: Artificial Nervous Systems, Artificial Embryos and Embryological Electronics" (1991), by Hugo de Garis

By Julia Damerow

In 1991, Hugo de Garis' article "Genetic Programming: Artificial Nervous Systems, Artificial Embryos and Embryological Electronics" was published in the book Parallel Problem Solving from Nature. With this article de Garis hoped to create what he envisioned as a new branch of artificial embryology called embryonics (short term for "embryological electronics"). Embryonics is based on the idea of adapting the processes found in embryonic development to build artificial systems.

Created 2010-06-10

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

The Mechanistic Conception of Life (1912), by Jacques Loeb

By Steve Elliott

Jacques Loeb published The Mechanistic Conception of Life in 1912. Loeb's goal for the book was to further disseminate his explanations of organic processes, such as embryonic development and organisms orientations to their environments, which relied on physics and chemistry. Loeb also wanted to provide an alternative explanatory framework to vitalism and what he called romantic evolutionism, then both widespread.

Created 2010-06-15

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Artificial Parthenogenesis and Fertilization (1913), by Jacques Loeb

By Karen Wellner

Jacques Loeb is best known for his embryological work investigating parthenogenesis in invertebrates. Artificial Parthenogenesis and Fertilization is a revised and English-translated work from his earlier book, Die chemische Entwicklungserregung des tierischen Eies (1900). Artificial Parthenogenesis describes Loeb's many and varied methodical experiments to initiate egg development without fertilization by sperm. As is true with much of science, some of Loeb's experiments were successful and many were not.

Created 2010-06-15

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Form and Function (1916), by Edward Stuart Russell

By Mark A. Ulett

In 1916, at the age of twenty-nine, Edward Stuart Russell published his first major work, Form and Function: a Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology. This book has maintained wide readership among scientists and historians since its initial publication, and today is generally recognized as the first modern, sustained study of the history of morphology. In particular, Form and Function incorporates an extensive theoretical analysis of the relationship between embryological studies and comparative morphology in the nineteenth century.

Created 2010-06-20

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis" (1952), by Alan M. Turing

By Julia Damerow

In 1952 the article "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis" by the British mathematician and logician Alan M. Turing was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. In that article Turing describes a mathematical model of the growing embryo. He uses this model to show how embryos develop patterns and structures (e.g., coat patterns and limbs, respectively). Turing's mathematical approach became fundamental for explaining the developmental process of embryos.

Created 2010-06-25

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Embryos in Wax (2002), by Nick Hopwood

By Karen Wellner

Embryos in Wax: Models from the Ziegler Studio is a history of embryo wax modeling written by science historian Nick Hopwood. Published by the Whipple Museum of the History of Science University of Cambridge and the Institute of the History of Medicine University of Bern, 2002, the book, like the wax models, helps exemplify the visual and material culture of science.

Created 2010-06-25

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

On Growth and Form (1917), by Sir D'Arcy Thompson

By Mark A. Ulett

Of Sir D'Arcy Thompson's nearly 300 publications, the theoretical treatise On Growth and Form, first published in 1917, remains the principal work for which he is remembered. This substantial book is still in print today, and merited an editorial review and introductory essays by two important twentieth century biologists, John Tyler Bonner and Stephen Jay Gould. Growth and Form was immediately well-received for both its literary style and its scientific significance, as discussed by the biologist Sir Peter Medawar.

Created 2010-06-27

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

The Diversity of Animals: An Evolutionary Study (1962), by Edward Stuart Russell

By Mark A. Ulett

In 1962 the journal Acta Biotheoretica published the final work of the biologist Edward Stuart Russell, a full eight years after his death. Entitled The Diversity of Animals: an Evolutionary Study, this short, unfinished manuscript on evolution received little recognition in the scientific presses despite both its technical discussion of adaptations in decapods (crabs, shrimp, etc.) and its different approach to evolutionary theory. The precise reason for this neglect is unclear.

Created 2010-06-27

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

A History of Embryology (1959), by Joseph Needham

By Karen Wellner

In 1931 embryologist and historian Joseph Needham published a well-received three-volume treatise titled Chemical Embryology. The first four chapters from this work were delivered as lectures on Speculation, Observation, and Experiment, as Illustrated by the History of Embryology at the University of London. The same lectures were later released as a book published in 1934 titled A History of Embryology.

Created 2010-06-28

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Somatic Cells" (2007), by Junying Yu et al.

By Ke Wu

On 2 December 2007, Science published a report on creating human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from human somatic cells: "Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Somatic Cells." This report came from a team of Madison, Wisconsin scientists: Junying Yu, Maxim A. Vodyanik, Kim Smuga-Otto, Jessica Antosiewicz-Bourget, Jennifer L. Frane, Shulan Tian, Jeff Nie, Gudrun A. Jonsdottir, Victor Ruotti, Ron Stewart, Igor I. Slukvin, and James A. Thomson.

Created 2010-06-29

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Birth without Violence (1975), by Frederick Leboyer

By Olivia Conley

In Birth without Violence (1975), French obstetrician Frederick Leboyer describes in poetic form the possible perceptions and feelings of embryos and fetuses before, during, and after birth. His work has helped to promote a gentler and more sensitive birthing method with the goal of easing the newborn's transition from the womb to the outside world. Leboyer's birthing method influenced later birth techniques such as water birth and unassisted childbirth.

Created 2010-06-30

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Drama of Life Before Birth" (1965), by Life Magazine and Lennart Nilsson

By Olivia Conley

Life Magazine's 1965 cover story "Drama of Life Before Birth" featured photographs of embryos and fetuses taken by Swedish photojournalist Lennart Nilsson to document the developmental stages of a human embryo. Included in this article was the first published image of a living fetus inside its mother's womb. Prior to this, embryos and fetuses were observed, studied, and photographed outside of women's bodies as non-living specimens.

Created 2010-06-30

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

Images of Embryos in Life Magazine in the 1950s

By Olivia Conley

Embryonic images displayed in Life magazine during the mid-twentieth century serve as a representation of technological advances and the growing public interest in the stages of embryological development. These black-and-white photographs portray skeletal structures and intact bodies of chicken embryos and human embryos and fetuses obtained from collections belonging to universities and medical institutions.

Created 2010-06-30

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Birth Control or the Limitation of Offspring (1936), by William J. Robinson

By Angel Lopez

Birth Control or the Limitation of Offspring was written by American eugenics and birth control advocate William J. Robinson. First published in 1916, the final edition (forty-eighth) was published in 1936, the same year that Robinson died. As a medical doctor and author, Robinson used his influence to promote propaganda for "fewer and better babies," by focusing on contraception. Even Margaret Sanger, another prominent eugenics and birth control advocate, took great interest in this book. Robinson had three goals in mind when writing Birth Control.

Created 2010-07-01

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Recombinant Proteins" (2009), by Hongyan Zhou et al.

By Samuel Philbrick

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are studied carefully by scientists not just because they are a potential source of stem cells that circumvents ethical controversy involved with experimentation on human embryos, but also because of their unique potential to advance the field of regenerative medicine. First generated in a lab by Kazutoshi Takahashi and Shinya Yamanaka in 2006, iPSCs have the ability to differentiate into cells of all types.

Created 2010-08-30

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Derivation of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Cultured Human Primordial Germ Cells" (1998), by John Gearhart et al.

By Ke Wu

In November 1998, two independent reports were published concerning the first isolation of pluripotent human stem cells, one of which was "Derivation of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Cultured Human Primordial Germ Cells." This paper, authored by John D. Gearhart and his research team - Michael J Shamblott, Joyce Axelman, Shunping Wang, Elizabeith M. Bugg, John W. Littlefield, Peter J. Donovan, Paul D. Blumenthal, and George R. Huggins - was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science soon after James A.

Created 2010-09-14

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

On the Generation of Animals, by Aristotle

By Cera R. Lawrence

Aristotle's On the Generation of Animals is referred to in Latin as De Generatione animalium. As with many of Aristotle's writings, the exact date of authorship is unknown, but it was produced in the latter part of the fourth century B.C. This book is the second recorded work on embryology that is treated as a subject of philosophy, being preceded by contributions in the Hippocratic corpus by about a century.

Created 2010-10-02

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

"Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells without Myc from Mouse and Human Fibroblasts" (2007), by Masato Nakagawa et al.

By Samuel Philbrick

In November 2007, Masato Nakagawa, along with a number of other researchers including Kazutoshi Takahashi, Keisuke Okita, and Shinya Yamanaka, published "Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells without Myc from Mouse and Human Fibroblasts" (abbreviated "Generation") in Nature. In "Generation," the authors point to dedifferentiation of somatic cells as an avenue for generating pluripotent stem cells useful for treating specific patients and diseases.

Created 2010-11-20

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Limitations in Abortion Legislation: A Comparative Study" (2007), by Orli Lotan

By Inbar Maayan

Written by Orli Lotan on behalf of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Center for Research and Information, "Limitations in Abortion Legislation: A Comparative Study" (hereafter abbreviated "Legislation") examines abortion legislation in Israel, the US, Canada, and a number of European countries. The study also acknowledges the medical, moral, ethical, and religious implications of abortion and the impact of such legislation on society in each country.

Created 2010-11-20

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"The Effects of Wing Bud Extirpation on the Development of the Central Nervous System in Chick Embryos" (1934), by Viktor Hamburger

By Lijing Jiang

German embryologist Viktor Hamburger came to the US in 1932 with a fellowship provided by the Rockefeller Foundation. Hamburger started his research in Frank Rattray Lillie's laboratory at the University of Chicago. His two-year work on the development of the central nervous system (CNS) in chick embryos was crystallized in his 1934 paper, "The Effects of Wing Bud Extirpation on the Development of the Central Nervous System in Chick Embryos," published in The Journal of Experimental Zoology.

Created 2010-11-22

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Generation of Germline-Competent Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells" (2007), by Keisuke Okita, Tomoko Ichisaka, and Shinya Yamanaka

By Samuel Philbrick

In the July 2007 issue of Nature, Keisuke Okita, Tomoko Ichisaka, and Shinya Yamanaka added to the new work on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with their "Generation of Germline-Competent Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells" (henceforth abbreviated "Generation"). The authors begin the paper by noting their desire to find a method for inducing somatic cells of patients to return to a pluripotent state, a state from which the cell can differentiate into any type of tissue but cannot form an entire organism.

Created 2010-11-22

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Cell Deaths in Normal Vertebrate Ontogeny" (1951), by Alfred Glücksmann

By Lijing Jiang

The review article “Cell Deaths in Normal Vertebrate Ontogeny” (abbreviated as “Cell Deaths”) was published in Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophy Society in 1951. The author, Alfred Glücksmann, was a German developmental biologist then working at the Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge, England. In “Cell Deaths,” Glücksmann summarizes observations about cell death in normal vertebrate development that he had compiled from literature published during the first half of the twentieth century.

Created 2010-12-06

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Apoptosis: A Basic Biological Phenomenon with Wide-Ranging Implications in Tissue Kinetics" (1972), by John F. R. Kerr, Andrew H. Wyllie and Alastair R. Currie

By Lijing Jiang

"Apoptosis: A Basic Biological Phenomenon with Wide-Ranging Implications in Tissue Kinetics" (hereafter abbreviated as "Apoptosis") was published in the British Journal of Cancer in 1972 and co-authored by three pathologists who collaborated at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In this paper the authors propose the term apoptosis for regulated cell death that proceeds through active, controlled morphological changes. This is in contrast to necrosis, a passive mode of cell death that results from uncontrolled cellular reactions to injury or stress.

Created 2011-01-21

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

The Interpretation of Development and Heredity (1930), by Edward Stuart Russell

By Mark A. Ulett

First published in 1930 and reprinted in 1972, Edward Stuart Russell's The Interpretation of Development and Heredity is a work of philosophical and theoretical biology. In this book Russell outlines a methodological and philosophical program aimed at reorienting the biological understanding of development and heredity.

Created 2011-01-31

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Blastocytes" (1998), by James Thomson

By Ke Wu

After becoming chief pathologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Regional Primate Center in 1995, James A. Thomson began his pioneering work in deriving embryonic stem cells from isolated embryos. That same year, Thomson published his first paper, "Isolation of a Primate Embryonic Stem Cell Line," in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, detailing the first derivation of primate embryonic stem cells. In the following years, Thomson and his team of scientists - Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor, Sander S. Shapiro, Michelle A.

Created 2011-02-01

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Alternative Sources of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells" (2005), by Leon Kass and the President’s Council on Bioethics

By Samuel Philbrick

Human pluripotent stem cells are valued for their potential to form numerous specialized cells and for their longevity. In the US, where a portion of the population is opposed to destruction of human embryos to obtain stem cells, what avenues are open to scientists for obtaining pluripotent cells that do not offend the moral sensibilities of a significant number of citizens?

Created 2011-02-22

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Visualizing Human Embryos" (1999), by Bradley Richard Smith

By Sarah Ly

In March 1999 Bradley Richard Smith, a professor at the University of Michigan, unveiled the first digital magnetic resonance images of human embryos. In his article "Visualizing Human Embryos for Scientific American," Smith displayed three-dimensional images of embryos using combinations of Magnetic Resonance Microscopy (MRM), light microscopy, and various computer editing. He created virtual embryo models that it is possible to view as dissections, animations, or in their whole 3D form. Smith's images constitute a new way of visualizing embryos.

Created 2011-03-27

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Induction and Patterning of the Primitive Streak, an Organizing Center of Gastrulation in the Amniote" (2004), by Takashi Mikawa, Alisa M. Poh, Kristine A. Kelly, Yasuo Ishii, and David E. Reese

By Inbar Maayan

"Induction and Patterning of the Primitive Streak, an Organizing Center of Gastrulation in the Amniote," (hereafter referred to as "Induction") examines the mechanisms underlying early amniote gastrulation and the formation of the primitive streak and midline axis. The review, authored by Takashi Mikawa and colleagues at Cornell University Medical College, was published in Developmental Dynamics in 2004.

Created 2011-04-14

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering (2007), by Michael J. Sandel

By Nathalie Antonios

The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering, hereafter referred to as The Case against Perfection, written by Michael J. Sandel, builds on a short essay featured in The Atlantic Monthly magazine in 2004. Three years later, Sandel transformed his article into a book, keeping the same title but expanding upon his personal critique of genetic engineering. The purpose of Sandel's book is to articulate the sources of what he considers to be widespread public unease related to genetic engineering that changes the course of natural development.

Created 2011-04-18

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Programmed Cell Death-II. Endocrine Potentiation of the Breakdown of the Intersegmental Muscles of Silkmoths" (1964), by Richard A. Lockshin and Carroll M. Williams

By Lijing Jiang

Richard A. Lockshin's 1963 PhD dissertation on cell death in insect metamorphosis was conducted under the supervision of Harvard insect physiologist Carroll M. Williams. Lockshin and Williams used this doctoral research as the basis for five articles, with the main title "Programmed Cell Death," that were published between 1964 and 1965 in the Journal of Insect Physiology. These articles examine the cytological processes, neuronal and endocrinal controls, and the influence of drugs on the mechanism of cell death observed in pupal muscle structures of the American silkmoth.

Created 2011-04-27

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"Developmental Capacity of Nuclei Transplanted from Keratinized Skin Cells of Adult Frogs" (1975), by John Gurdon, Ronald Laskey, and O. Raymond Reeves

By Sean Cohmer

In 1975 John Gurdon, Ronald Laskey, and O. Raymond Reeves published "Developmental Capacity of Nuclei Transplanted from Keratinized Skin Cells of Adult Frogs," in the Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology. Their article was the capstone of a series of experiments performed by Gurdon during his time at Oxford and Cambridge, using the frog species Xenopus laevis. Gurdon's first experiment in 1958 showed that the nuclei of Xenopus cells maintained their ability to direct normal development when transplanted.

Created 2011-06-14

Last modified 2 years 8 months ago

Format: Articles

"The Development of the Turtle Carapace" (1989), by Ann Campbell Burke

By Guido Caniglia

Ann Campbell Burke examines the development and evolution of vertebrates, in particular, turtles. Her Harvard University experiments, described in Development of the Turtle Carapace: Implications for the Evolution of a Novel Bauplan, were published in 1989. Burke used molecular techniques to investigate the developmental mechanisms responsible for the formation of the turtle shell.

Created 2011-10-20

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

"The Potency of the First Two Cleavage Cells in Echinoderm Development. Experimental Production of Partial and Double Formations" (1891-1892), by Hans Driesch

By Megan Kearl

Hans Adolf Eduard Driesch was a late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century philosopher and developmental biologist. In the spring of 1891 Driesch performed experiments using two-celled sea urchin embryos, the results of which challenged the then-accepted understanding of embryo development. Driesch showed that the cells of an early embryo, when separated, could each continue to develop into normal larval forms.

Created 2012-01-01

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

Essay: Review of Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos

By Karen Wellner, Lijing Jiang

To Lynn M. Morgan, the Mary E. Woolley Professor of Anthropology at Mt. Holyoke College, nothing says life more than a dead embryo. In her easily readable book, Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos, Morgan brings together cultural phenomena, ethics, and embryology to show that even dead embryos and fetuses have their own stories to tell. As an anthropologist, Morgan is interested in many things, including the science of embryology and its history. But she also wants to know how culture influences our views on embryos and the material practices that accompany their study.

Created 2012-06-22

Last modified 4 years 2 months ago

Format: Essays

"Behavioral Thermoregulation by Turtle Embryos" (2011), by Wei-Guo Du, Bo Zhao, Ye Chen, and Richard Shine

By Karla Moeller

In "Behavioral Thermoregulation by Turtle Embryos," published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in April, 2011, Wei-Guo Du, Bo Zhao, Ye Chen, and Richard Shine report that turtle embryos can move towards warmer temperatures within the egg when presented with a small, 0.8 degrees Celsius gradient. This behavioral thermoregulation may benefit the embryo's fitness by accelerating the rate of development enough to decrease the incubation period by up to four and a half days. Embryos are generally thought to have little control over their surroundings.

Created 2012-09-20

Last modified 2 years 9 months ago

Format: Articles

"On the Induction of Embryonic Primordia by Implantation of Organizers from Different Species" (1924), Hilde Mangold's Dissertation

By Megan Kearl, Kate MacCord

Hilde Proscholdt Mangold was a doctoral student at the Zoological Institute at the University of Freiburg in Freiburg, Germany, from 1920-1923. Mangold conducted research for her dissertation 'On the Induction of Embryonic Primordia by Implantation of Organizers from Different Species' ('Ueber Induktion von Embryonanlagen durch Implantation artfremder Organisatoren'), under the guidance of Hans Spemann, a professor of zoology at the University of Freiburg.

Created 2012-12-19

Last modified 1 year 2 months ago

Format: Articles

"Gene Regulation for Higher Cells: A Theory" (1969), by Roy J. Britten and Eric H. Davidson

By Justin Wolter

In 1969, Roy J. Britten and Eric H. Davidson published Gene Regulation for Higher Cells: A Theory, in Science. A Theory proposes a minimal model of gene regulation, in which various types of genes interact to control the differentiation of cells through differential gene expression. Britten worked at the Carnegie Institute of Washington in Washington, D.C., while Davidson worked at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Their paper was an early theoretical and mechanistic description of gene regulation in higher organisms.

Created 2013-09-10

Last modified 2 years 10 months ago

Format: Articles

A Child Is Born (1965), by Lennart Nilsson

By Mark Zhang

Dell Publishing in New York City, New York, published Lennart Nilsson's A Child Is Born in 1966. The book was a translation of the Swedish version called Ett barn blir till, published in 1965. It sold over a million copies in its first edition, and has translations in twelve languages. Nilsson, a photojournalist, documented a nine-month human pregnancy using pictures and accompanying text written by doctors Axel Ingelman-Sundberg, Claes Wirsen and translated by Britt and Claes Wirsen and Annabelle MacMillian.

Created 2013-09-17

Last modified 2 years 10 months ago

Format: Articles

"A Genomic Regulatory Network for Development" (2002), by Eric H. Davidson, et al.

By Justin M. Wolter

In 2002 Eric Davidson and his research team published 'A Genomic Regulatory Network for Development' in Science. The authors present the first experimental verification and systemic description of a gene regulatory network. This publication represents the culmination of greater than thirty years of work on gene regulation that began in 1969 with 'A Gene Regulatory Network for Development: A Theory' by Roy Britten and Davidson. The modeling of a large number of interactions in a gene network had not been achieved before.

Created 2013-10-11

Last modified 2 years 10 months ago

Format: Articles

Possums (1952), by Carl G. Hartman

By Karen Wellner, Gia Goodman

Possums is a 174-page book consisting of a series of essays written about the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), the only living marsupial in the US. The essays were written by Carl Gottfried Hartman, an embryologist at the Carnegie Institute of Washington (CIW), in Baltimore, Maryland, who also worked with another mammal, the rhesus monkey. Possums was published in 1952 by Hartman's alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Beginning in 1913, while as a graduate student, and later as an instructor at UT, Hartman captured and raised opossums.

Created 2013-12-02

Last modified 2 years 11 months ago

Format: Articles

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