ISSN 10623604, Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, 2011, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 349. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2011. Original Russian Text © L.V. Belousov, 2011, published in Ontogenez, 2011, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 397. BOOK REVIEW Scott F. Gilbert—Developmental Biology, 2010, Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA Ninth Edition DOI: 10.1134/S1062360411050043 The ninth edition of Scott F. Gilbert’s book con be incorporated into those sections of the course that firms its earlier established reputation as the most discuss developmental stages at which these commu complete and qualified developmental biology text nications are particularly visible. This likewise refers to book. It not only explains and beautifully illustrates developmental genetics and, of course, to systemic biology problems: it is important that they not just information in practically all aspects of this science— float around somewhere, but that they be tied as both descriptive and experimental—it also contains sections that other textbooks commonly do not. This closely as possible to specific material. I would also especially like to note the brief but precise presenta concerns the detailed chapter on developmental tion of the main historical milestones of embryological genetics and especially—what may be the main nov ideas. elty of this edition—Chapter 4, devoted to systemic Although the amount of factual material is quite biology in its medicinal, ecological, and evolutionary aspects. The inclusion of such a section in a standard large, certain omissions are readily noticeable. For textbook is worthy of particular approval, since it instance, in my opinion, the section on evolutionary embryology begs for the recent work of Yu.A. Kraus explains the most important generaltheoretic ques tions that are commonly glossed over: contextdepen et al. , who discovered a Spemann type of embryonic dent properties, organization levels and socalled induction in coral polyps. Since the chapter of sys emergence, heterogeneous causality and integration, temic biology mentions P. Weiss in connection with and modularity and roughness. As well, these seem the holistic approach, it should also mention ingly abstract concepts are illustrated with clear visual A.G. Gurvich, whom Weiss considered his teacher examples. In this connection, however, it would be and whose contribution to the theory of development desirable to briefly mention the existence of such a was highly valued by Gilbert himself . Similarly, for powerful section of modern science as selforganiza the mentioning of the embryonic character of cancer tion theory, which gives a rigorous formulation of these cells, it would not hurt to reference the works of and other concepts related to them (and to give corre G.I. Abelev et al., who were the first to describe this sponding references, since there are many books in the phenomenon. world on this topic of varying degrees of popularity). It would be desirable for this remarkable textbook In general, for me, Gilbert’s book is primarily more to become in one form or another available to the wid an aid for teachers than for students per se: bearing in est range of developmental biology teachers and stu mind the comparatively small amount of time given to dents in Russia. developmental biology even at the best universities, it is neither possible nor necessary for lectures to cover L.V. Belousov all the sections in this textbook. All the more so, they need not be explained in the order in which the text 1 The Blastoporal Organizer of a Sea Anemone, Curr. Biol., 2007, book presents them. For instance, information con 17(20), pp. 874–876. tained in the chapter on cell communications should Int. J. Dev. Biol., 1997, 41, p. 778.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2011
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