I understand how cell differentiation works in general (gradients of homeobox proteins etc), but how is timing controlled? Why do some genes switch on at a very specific moment of development and then switch off. I imagine that the timing could be enabled by the same homeobox proteins (genes are switched on as soon as the proteins diffuse far enough, and switched off as soon as the homeobox is used up), but perhaps there's some special mechanism of gene expression timing?
How can gene expression timing affect the formation of a developing embryo?
We should know that genetic imprinting is passed down. The formation of an embryo is not. Some takes on form when provoked, it is much like when oocytes are stimulated with a prod duplication Happens automatically. The embryo is affected by the proximity of cells. Clusters, spread out, far apart. All make the cells behave automatically. But it's the first ignition of development that sets off growth. The cells have been through many phases and timing is not controlled by either proteins or genes.