Induction And The Origins Of Developmental Genetics

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Book Chapter

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A Conceptual History Of Modern Embryology

Series Title

Developmental Biology


At the turn of the past century, the field of heredity included embryology, regeneration, and genetics. Discussions of genetics necessarily entailed a theory of development, and any theory of development had to show why eggs of different species developed in different ways. Thus, the theories of William Keith Brooks (1) or August Weismann (2) did not distinguish between genetics and embryology. The developmental mechanics of His, Roux, and Driesch likewise contained explicit genetic components whereby the hereditary determinants (thought to reside within either the cytoplasm or the nucleus) were seen to direct the processes of organ formation and cell differentiation.

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