The September 2007 issue of Nature Cell Biology focuses on Development and Disease, and includes a series of six free articles highlighting how development gone awry can cause disease.
Much progress has been made in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying animal development, uncovering numerous links with human disease pathologies. In many cases, loss of the control mechanisms that drive normal development can lead to disease, including in cancer and a number of hereditary syndromes. As a result many of the findings made originally in a purely developmental context are now emerging in clinically relevant research.
Three articles, written respectively by Andreas Wodarz and Inke Nathke, Matthew Scott and Rajat Rohatgi, and Rick Derynck and Rosemary Arkhurst highlight how recent data show that specific derailed developmental pathways are linked to cancer initiation and progression. To gain insight into human disease and development, scientists need appropriate animal models. Nadia Rosenthal and Steve Brown discuss in a commentary the advantages of using mice as models for human development and diseases.
Clinicians interested in developmental biology hope one day to be able to generate all types of tissues from a patient's own cells. Ways of developing human embryonic stem cells are therefore under active study. Robin Lovell-Badge and Justin Saint John comment on the current debate underlying the use of animal oocytes as vehicles for the generation of these cells. Finally, a perspective article by Jeremy Green and Lance Davidson exposes how self-organization of polarized cells participates in cell shape changes and movements in order to form the different organs.
Andreas Wodarz (University of Goetttingen, Germany)
Matthew Scott (Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, USA)
Rick Derynck (University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA)
Nadia Rosenthal (EMBL, Mouse Biology Program, Monterotondo, Italy)
Robin Lovell-Badge (National Institute for Medical Research, London)
Jeremy Green (Kings College London, UK)
Nathalie Le Bot (Nature Cell Biology, London)
Access all the free articles here.
(C) Nature Cell Biology press release.
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