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Using 2-3 specific examples, discuss how molecular mechanisms underlie neural development.
The first 200 words of this essay...
Using 2-3 specific examples, discuss how molecular mechanisms underlie neural development
The entire nervous system is derived from ectoderm, but not all ectoderm gives rise to the nervous system. By this token, there must be some mechanism by which some ectodermal cells undergo neural differentiation, and others fail to follow this path, and yield skin epidermis.
Much research has been done into what determines neural differentiation, or which factors direct the expression of specific genes within individual cells. Two major groups of factors have been described in response to this question: inducing factors; and molecules activated or induced in cells upon exposure to an inducing factor themselves. This latter group relies on the ability of the cell to respond to inductive factors (known as competence), and this depends on the precise repository of receptors etc that is expresses.
With inducing factors, cells in different positions are going to be exposed to different inducing factors- so it is really the position of the cell in the early on, that is of critical importance in determining its fate.
Hans Spemann and Hilde Mangold did an experiment whereby the organiser region of the mesoderm (later
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