Essays on Science and SocietyGenomics and Proteomics

Retracing embryological fate

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Science  02 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6316, pp. 1109
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal2189

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Mammalian development is a beautifully orchestrated process of cell division and differentiation during which the various cell lineages arise that form an organism. The precise nature, origin, and fate of these lineages remain a mystery in humans and in other mammals. In addition to illuminating fundamental developmental biology, mapping human cell lineages may offer insights into a range of physiological and pathological processes, such as stem cell development, congenital diseases, and childhood cancer (1).