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Einführung in die Physiologische Embryologie

Nature volume 159, page 657 (17 May 1947) | Download Citation



THE years between the two World Wars saw a very rapid accumulation of experimental data bearing on the mechanism of development in many groups of animals, particularly the echinoderms and the vertebrates. By the end of the1930's, most experimental embryologists felt the need for a synthesis, and the elaboration of a theoretical structure by which the facts could be held together in an illuminating way. The disturbances of the War necessitateda slackening in the pace of experimental work, and the leaders of most of the major schools of experimental embryology took the opportunity to try their hand at producing the necessary system of thought. Spemann, whose work provided the original inspiration for much of the recent progress, led off with his “Experimentelle Beitrage zu einer Theorie der Entwicklung” in 1936 ; then from America we were offered Weiss' “Principles of Development” in 1939, and Child's “Patterns and Problems of Development” in 1941 ; from Britain, Waddington's “Organisers and Genes” in 1940 and Needham's monumental “Biochemistry and Morphogenesis” in 1942 ; from Belgium, Dalcq's “L'oeuf etson Dynamisme Organ -isateur” in 1941 and Brachet's stimulating “Embryologie Chimique” in 1944. We are still waiting, not too patiently, for a similar thorough treatment from the point of view of the Swedish school of Runnstrom and Horstadius.

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