Developmental biology (including embryology) is proposed as "the stem cell of biological disciplines.” Genetics, cell biology, oncology, immunology, evolutionary mechanisms, neurobiology, and systems biology each has its ancestry in developmental biology. Moreover, developmental biology continues to roll on, budding off more disciplines, while retaining its own identity. While its descendant disciplines differentiate into sciences with a restricted set of paradigms, examples, and techniques, developmental biology remains vigorous, pluripotent, and relatively undifferentiated. In many disciplines, especially in evolutionary biology and oncology, the developmental perspective is being reasserted as an important research program.
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Scott F. Gilbert.
"Developmental Biology, The Stem Cell Of Biological Disciplines".