Review

How Cells Know Where They Are

Science  22 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6122, pp. 923-927
DOI: 10.1126/science.1224186

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Abstract

Development, regeneration, and even day-to-day physiology require plant and animal cells to make decisions based on their locations. The principles by which cells may do this are deceptively straightforward. But when reliability needs to be high—as often occurs during development—successful strategies tend to be anything but simple. Increasingly, the challenge facing biologists is to relate the diverse diffusible molecules, control circuits, and gene regulatory networks that help cells know where they are to the varied, sometimes stringent, constraints imposed by the need for real-world precision and accuracy.

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