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Development cell by cell

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Science  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6421, pp. 1344-1345
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6421.1344

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Summary

From at least the time of Hippocrates, biologists have been transfixed by the mystery of how a single cell develops into an adult animal with multiple organs and billions of cells. Now, just as a music score indicates when strings, brass, percussion, and woodwinds chime in to create a symphony, a combination of technologies is revealing when genes in individual cells switch on during development, cueing the cells to play their specialized parts. The result is the ability to track the development of organisms and organs in stunning detail, cell-by-cell and through time. Science is recognizing this combination of technologies, and its potential for spurring advances in basic research and medicine, as the 2018 Breakthrough of the Year.

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