Why are humans usually born with two arms and two legs? How do the cells in our muscles know to be muscle cells? Understanding the genetic programs that dictate basic body patterning and cell differentiation is crucial to understanding fundamental developmental processes. This knowledge helps scientists understand the extraordinary evolution and diversity of form among organisms. It also has the potential to explain the origins of certain birth defects and, long-term, how to grow replacement organs in the laboratory for those in need.

Please support the research of Peter ReddienRudolf Jaenisch, and Kristin Knouse as they advance the field of regenerative medicine.