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Laboratory Studies of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Embryos: Guide & Atlas of Descriptive & Experimental Development (8th Edition)

Laboratory Studies of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Embryos: Guide & Atlas of Descriptive & Experimental Development (8th Edition) 



  • Gary C. Schoenwolf 


  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Benjamin Cummings; 8 edition (June 16, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0138574340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0138574345
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.50 pounds


From the Inside Flap


Five major changes have been made in the eighth edition. First, a new chapter (Chapter 4) has been added on the development of the mouse embryo. With the advent of modern techniques in molecular genetics, the mouse embryo has become an important model system for analyzing development. Virtually any desired gene can now be mutated in the mouse embryo, and the effects of its over expression or under expression can be readily studied. Additionally, recent advances in whole-embryo Culture and techniques of experimental embryology have further increased the importance of the mouse embryo to developmental biologists. With this new chapter, we have added 69 photographs (Photos 4.14.69), 2 line drawings (Figs. 4.1 and 4.2), and 2 experimental exercises (Exercises 4.1 and 4.2).

Second, all images have been digitally processed. This was done to improve quality, clarity, ascetics, and ease of viewing. All illustrations have been relabeled and layout has been improved, with illustrations from each chapter grouped together within the relevant chapter rather than at the back of the book in a separate atlas. This should help the student find and learn the material quicker. Aside from the new illustrations added in Chapter 4, 28 additional illustrations (mostly scanning electron micrographs) have been included in Chapters 2 and 3, increasing the visual impact and depth of the manual. A new numbering scheme has been used for all illustrations. Both photographs and line drawings are now numbered according to chapter number (1-6) followed by a decimal point and the number of the illustration in sequence. Photographs are referred to as "Photos" and line drawings as "Figs."

Third, the layout of the text was also done digitally. In doing this, the text was reordered into 6 chapters, placed into two-column format, and updated, and the flow from topic to topic has been simplified.

Fourth, all exercises are now grouped together in Chapter 6, along with additional hands-on studies. Seven new advanced hands-on studies have been added, covering the cutting of frozen sections, in situ hybridization (plus 12 new illustrations), chick New whole-embryo culture, dye injections for tracking cell movements, BrdU labeling to study cell proliferation, TUNEL labeling to study cell death (apoptosis), and mouse whole-embryo culture. With the addition of 2 exercises on early mouse embryos, Chapter 6 now contains 22 exercises. These exercises allow students to gain some hands-on experience with, and deeper appreciation for, living embryos and the dynamic events underlying embryogenesis.

Instructors may choose to have students do all the exercises or only selected ones. Additionally, instructors may choose to do all or some of the exercises as demonstrations with various degrees of student participation. Furthermore, students may consider doing selected exercises as independent study projects. It is difficult to schedule experiments in a typical quarter or semester course format when embryos develop over hours or days, and not all experiments work every time. However, the pedagogic value of working with living embryos far outweighs the scheduling difficulties. Also, although sometimes experiments will fail, a failed experiment can often be more instructive than a successful one, leading to subsequent inquiry into what went wrong.

Fifth, a glossary has been added. This will help students find definitions quickly, facilitating their learning of important terms and concepts.

This edition has been written to allow students to start their laboratory studies with any of the organisms included, depending on the instructor’s preference. However, we do recommend that students study the chick embryo prior to studying the mouse embryo; this will facilitate their understanding of the "inverted" U-shaped mouse blastoderm as compared to the flat chick blastoderm. Orientation illustrations ("orientators") are placed with photographs to indicate the levels of the sections, slices, or fractures illustrated. Unfortunately, it is not possible to indicate the level of every section shown in the photographs: sections are closely spaced and photographs are shown at a much higher magnification than are the orientators; thus, insufficient room is available to demarcate every section.

In closing, let me encourage both faculty and students to send their comments about this manual to me. Each new edition represents a stage in the manual’s evolution (see History), a stage that is largely determined by the comments of users. To facilitate communication, you can contact me at the following Email address: Schoenwolf@med.utah. 

From the Back Cover

The eighth edition of this widely respected volume continues the tradition of introducing laboratory studies of developmental biology with its broad coverage, copious illustrations and detailed descriptions of a wide range of developing stages. Unique in its combination of a detailed atlas with interesting exercises on living embryos, it also contains complete instructions for additional experimental studies that include state-of-the-art research approaches. The eighth edition adds a new chapter on the development of the mouse embryo, many new illustrations, seven new advanced hands-on studies and a glossary.

About the Author(s)

DR. GARY C. SCHOENWOLF is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where he teaches students at the undergraduate through postdoctoral levels. Author of well over 100 articles, his current research focuses on cell—cell signaling during early patterning of the vertebrate embryo. He and his wife Pat have two children, Jennifer and Gregory.


An excellent manual for teaching decriptive embryology, May 1, 2001

I witnessed the birth of the first edition of this book when I was still a college student, and have seen its transformation to suit the needs of each new era. The book offers fundamental principles in descriptive embryology. I hoped to see more on the expperimental aspect of the subject. I also wished to see the embryology of more of the animal phyla (eg. fruit fly, zebra fish) included.