Concept

Cell fate determination

Summary
Within the field of developmental biology, one goal is to understand how a particular cell develops into a final cell type, known as fate determination. Within an embryo, several processes play out at the cellular and tissue level to create an organism. These processes include cell proliferation, differentiation, cellular movement and programmed cell death. Each cell in an embryo receives molecular signals from neighboring cells in the form of proteins, RNAs and even surface interactions. Almost all animals undergo a similar sequence of events during very early development, a conserved process known as embryogenesis. During embryogenesis, cells exist in three germ layers, and undergo gastrulation. While embryogenesis has been studied for more than a century, it was only recently (the past 25 years or so) that scientists discovered that a basic set of the same proteins and mRNAs are involved in embryogenesis. Evolutionary conservation is one of the reasons that model systems such as the
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