Defining "Development".

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Current topics in developmental biology, ISSN: 1557-8933, Vol: 117, Page: 171-83

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Pradeu, Thomas; Laplane, Lucie; Prévot, Karine; Hoquet, Thierry; Reynaud, Valentine; Fusco, Giuseppe; Minelli, Alessandro; Orgogozo, Virginie; Vervoort, Michel
Elsevier BV
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
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Is it possible, and in the first place is it even desirable, to define what "development" means and to determine the scope of the field called "developmental biology"? Though these questions appeared crucial for the founders of "developmental biology" in the 1950s, there seems to be no consensus today about the need to address them. Here, in a combined biological, philosophical, and historical approach, we ask whether it is possible and useful to define biological development, and, if such a definition is indeed possible and useful, which definition(s) can be considered as the most satisfactory.