ELSC News

New paperback edition for “The Neural Crest”

January 17, 2011

The neural crest Cambridge Press publishes new paperback edition of the classical developmental biology textbook “The Neural Crest”, by Nicole le Douarin and ELSC member Chaya Kalcheim.

The body, brain and nervous system of vertebrates such as birds, humans and other mammals are extremely complex, containing a wide variety of organs and cell types. This enormous diversity originates with just one cell; a fertilized egg at the moment of conception. This development of an entire organism out of one fertilized cell is one of the most fascinating and beautiful journeys known to man. 

The book “The Neural Crest”, written by ELSC member Chaya Kalcheim together with her former mentor Nicole Le Douarin of the Collège de France, details the development and research into the neural crest, one of the transient cell subsets that appear during ontogenesis, and contributes to the development of a mature organism out of one fertilized egg. 

Research on the neural crest has provided scientists with new and important insights into the origins of various types of cells, but also into the development of cells in general. Neural crest cells develop into a great range of different cell types, including pigment cells, cartilage and bone cells, muscle cells, and the cells of the peripheral nervous system, the neural system by which the brain controls the body. The neural crest system gives insight into almost all of the features of cell development: pattern formation, the arrangement of cell layers in specific locations and patterns, the determination of the ultimate fate of the cell, the directed migration of cells to specific locations, and the differentiation of general cell types into specialized cells.    

The book, originally published in 1999, quickly became a handbook for developmental biologists around the world. Now, Cambridge Press has published a second paperback edition of this classical text. It includes detailed descriptions into the ontogeny of the neural crest in a variety of vertebrate species including mammals, avian  and zebrafish embryos, describes recent advances in our understanding of markers of neural crest cell subpopulations, and a full chapter is devoted to cell lineage analysis, in addition to an explanation of many molecular mechanisms of neural crest development.  This book is essential reading for students and researchers in developmental biology, cell biology, and neuroscience.

The website of the Cambridge Press provides online support material, including detailed descriptions and graphics: “The  Neural Crest” at the Cambridge Press online catalogue.

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