The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 42: 511 - 518 (1998)

Vol 42, Issue 3

Special Issue: Developmental Genetics of Drosophila

Debatable issues. Interview with L Wolpert and A García-Bellido

Published: 30 November -0001

Alain Ghysen

Dept of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London Medical School, United Kingdom.


This paper reports a discussion between Antonio Garcia-Bellido and Lewis Wolpert about a number of questions raised by Alain Ghysen. The questions follow, in reverse order, the subjects dealt with in this issue: first the principles (are there unifying principles of development?), then questions dealing with evolution (why are patterns conserved?) and with the homeotic genes (what is their function?), then the cell biology of development (who is controlling actual morphogenesis?), and the generation and evolution of patterns (what makes development so reproducible and how does it change from one species to another?) and finally about the genetics of cell determination and specification (how does a cell measure its position?). Obviously the discussion did not provide any firm answers to any of these questions. Perhaps more importantly, it provides a vivid picture of two contrasting ways of thinking about developmental problems.

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