Explorations in Developmental Biology is a revolutionary departure from time-honored introductory texts. The book is based on the premise that the substance, concepts, and excitement of contemporary developmental biology are best communicated to students by using the same form in which they were first communicated to the scientific community—original research reports. But a simple collection of original papers is not sufficient; it is too limited in scope and too disjointed, and students are not prepared to read them with understanding.
In this book, designed to serve as the principal text for a first or second course in developmental biology, basic concepts are presented in a series of 22 chapters that focus on major, often unsolved, problems ranging from self-assembly to embryonic induction to cellular communication by surface contact. Within each chapter the authors provide the necessary background in developmental biology, and also describe the specific experimental procedures that enable the student to understand and appreciate the contributions of significant research papers that are included. The authors’ texts and the reprinted papers are integrated into a cohesive whole, so that each chapter provides up-to-date information about an important area of developmental biology and raises specific questions. Throughout, the text is profusely illustrated with original drawings and with figures taken from the literature, and each chapter contains a brief guide to pertinent publications.
Explorations in Developmental Biology makes it possible for teachers and students to penetrate the perennial barrier between classroom and research laboratory. Students who use this book are well equipped to move on to more advanced studies in biology; for they will have acquired the ability to use and to evaluate original scientific communications and will have assimilated the subject matter of a science that is at the center of modern biology.