Jaws of the Fates

Science  11 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5592, pp. 371-373
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077706

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The evolution of an asymmetrical jaw by vertebrates contributed to their success by imbuing them with more versatile feeding capabilities. In a Perspective, Koentges and Matsuoka discuss new findings (Depew et al.) that reveal the molecular cause of this asymmetry. A developmental code of nested Dlx gene expression in jaw precursor cells instructs these cells to become upper or lower jaw structures.