Landmark Study Maps Precise Orchestration of Prenatal Development in Mice

Researchers follow the transformation from fertilized egg to viable organism with unparalleled resolution.

In a landmark study, researchers at the University of Washington and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and colleagues have characterized, in exacting detail, the rapid series of events that transform a single fertilized cell into a living, complex being. The work, reported on February 14, 2024 in Nature, not only has enabled the team to explore which genes drive the differentiation of hundreds of cell types, but also shows, for the first time, that there are very rapid changes in genetic activity within the hour immediately following birth, underscoring the speed with which newborns must adapt. The open-access article is titled “A Single-Cell Time-Lapse of Mouse Prenatal Development from Gastrula to Birth.”
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