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During the embryonic stage of human development, rapid cell division occurs and specialized cells form to build the various parts of the developing fetus.

I'm curious:

  • Why technically do specialized cells (such as brain cells) form? I suspect this is due to a DNA sequence, but why chemically / mechanically should a genetic combination cause a certain specialized cell-type to form?
  • Have we (the international scientific community) reproduced the fundamental chemistry that causes any specialized cell-types to form?
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There is indeed chemical signaling that triggers the differenciation. There are gradients of chemical species during the development. Look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphogen ! There are also other references there.

PS: there is a stack exchange question from today about something related Can gap genes delay their expression?

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