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Developmental Biology is the study of organisms’ life cycles from single cell to complex reproducing and aging multi-cellular organisms. It endeavours to explain phenomena such as: cellular differentiation (e.g. neurons vs. liver cells) and cellular aging, the development of gross morphology and anatomical structures (e.g. body shape and organs -eyes and limbs-), and the development of an organism as an integrated part of an eco-system (e.g. phenotypic plasticity). The philosophically relevant points, in addition to broader philosophy of science inquiries (e.g. confirmation and explanation) are those that have to do with the ontological status of biological kinds and with inter-level relations, specifically the integration of developmental biology with evolutionary biology and to a lesser extent, with ecology. Keeping this is in mind the subcategories within Developmental Biology can be grouped into three main themes: evolution(Evolutionary-Developmental Biology, Developmental Constraints and Process Structuralism)ecology (Ecological Developmental Biology, Epigenetic Inheritance, Nature vs. Nurture and Innateness) and ontology (Developmental Modularity, Developmental System Theory and Process Structuralism).

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  1. J. W. Atkinson (1992). Conceptual Issues in the Reunion of Development and Evolution. Synthese 91 (1-2):93 - 110.
    Recently a growing number of biologists have begun to consider the causal role that processes of embryonic development may play in evolution. This constitutes a reunion of these phenomena which had been linked in the nineteenth century through Haeckel's biogenetic law. This reunion may result in a new subdiscipline of biology, if there is a set of unique concepts and methods which tie the various research approaches together. Such concepts as bauplan, canalization, and developmental constraint, may serve in such a (...)
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  2. Eugen Baer (1982). The Medical Symptom: Phylogeny and Ontogeny. American Journal of Semiotics 1 (3):17-34.
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  3. J. Bard (1997). Explaining Development. Bioessays 20:598-599.
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  4. Jonathan Bard & Adam S. Wilkins (1995). Embryos: Color Atlas of Development. Bioessays 17 (3):269.
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  5. Martin Barker (1987). Susan Oyama, The Ontogeny of Information. Radical Philosophy 45:49.
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  6. David Boersema (2006). Review of “Embryology, Epigenesis, and Evolution” and “Philosophy of Experimental Biology”. [REVIEW] Essays in Philosophy 7 (1):1.
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  7. Laurel Cooper, Ramona Walls, Justin Elser, Maria A. Gandolfo, Dennis W. Stevenson & Barry Smith (2013). The Plant Ontology as a Tool for Comparative Plant Anatomy and Genomic Analyses. Plant and Cell Physiology 54:1-23..
    The Plant Ontology (PO; http://www.plantontology.org/) is a publicly-available, collaborative effort to develop and maintain a controlled, structured vocabulary (“ontology”) of terms to describe plant anatomy, morphology and the stages of plant development. The goals of the PO are to link (annotate) gene expression and phenotype data to plant structures and stages of plant development, using the data model adopted by the Gene Ontology. From its original design covering only rice, maize and Arabidopsis, the scope of the PO has been expanded (...)
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  8. J. P. Couso (1994). Essential Developmental Biology: A Practical Approach Edited by CD Stern and PWH Holland. Bioessays 16:220-220.
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  9. Kim J. Dale & Olivier Pourquié (2000). A Clock‐Work Somite. Bioessays 22 (1):72-83.
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  10. Thomas C. Dalton (2000). The Developmental Roots of Consciousness and Emotional Experience. Consciousness and Emotion 1 (1):55-89.
    Charles Darwin is generally credited with having formulated the first systematic attempt to explain the evolutionary origins and function of the expression of emotions in animals and humans. His ingenious theory, however, was burdened with popular misconceptions about human phylogenetic heritage and bore the philosophical and theoretical deficiencies of the brain science of his era that his successors strove to overcome. In their attempts to rectify Darwin?s errors, William James, James Mark Baldwin and John Dewey each made important contributions to (...)
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  11. Eric H. Davidson (1994). Molecular Biology of Embryonic Development: How Far Have We Come in the Last ten Years? Bioessays 16 (9):603-615.
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  12. J. Davies (2004). A Practical Guide to Developmental Biology By Melissa A. Gibbs. Bioessays 26:1142-1142.
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  13. Jamie Davies (2004). Book Review:A Practical Guide to Developmental Biology. [REVIEW] Bioessays 26 (10):1142-1142.
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  14. Jamie A. Davies (2002). Do Different Branching Epithelia Use a Conserved Developmental Mechanism? Bioessays 24 (10):937-948.
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  15. Lgor B. Dawid & Masanori Taira (1994). Axis Determination in Xenopus: Gradients and Signals. Bioessays 16 (6):385-386.
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  16. Angus Dawson (2004). The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority: Evidence Based Policy Formation in a Contested Context. Health Care Analysis 12 (1):1-6.
    This article briefly reviews the various papers contained in this volume. They were originally presented at a research workshop held at Keele University in the UK in February 2003. It is suggested that the different papers raise a series of related legal, social and ethical issues and can be collectively seen to demonstrate the fact that policy formation in relation to reproductive matters is highly contested. It is concluded that ethical policy formation in this area needs to be based on (...)
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  17. G. R. de Beer (1930). Embryology and Evolution. Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (19):482-484.
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  18. Jose F. de Celis (2003). Pattern Formation in the Drosophila Wing: The Development of the Veins. Bioessays 25 (5):443-451.
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  19. Jose F. de Celis (1999). The Function of Vestigial in Drosophila Wing Development: How Are Tissue‐Specific Responses to Signalling Pathways Specified? Bioessays 21 (7):542-545.
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  20. Soraya de Chadarevian (1999). Mapping Development or How Molecular is Molecular Biology? History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 22 (3):381-396.
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  21. Laura Nuño de la Rosa (forthcoming). Becoming Organisms: The Organisation of Development and the Development of Organisation. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
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  22. Arnold De Loof (1992). Problems and Paradigms. All Animals Develop From a Blastula: Consequences of an Undervalued Definition for Thinking on Development. Bioessays 14 (8):573-575.
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  23. Maria A. De Matteis, Cathal Wilson & Giovanni D'Angelo (2013). Phosphatidylinositol‐4‐Phosphate: The Golgi and Beyond. Bioessays 35 (7):612-622.
  24. David de Pomerai (1996). Developmental Biology Blockbuster. Analysis of Biological Development (1995). By Klaus Kalthoff. McGraw/Hill. 912 Pp. �44.95. ISBN 0-07-033308-4. [REVIEW] Bioessays 18 (1):83-84.
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  25. Nathan A. DeCarolis, Keith A. Wharton & Amelia J. Eisch (2008). Which Way Does the Wnt Blow? Exploring the Duality of Canonical Wnt Signaling on Cellular Aging. Bioessays 30 (2):102-106.
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  26. U. Deichmann (2011). Early 20th-Century Research at the Interfaces of Genetics, Development, and Evolution: Reflections on Progress and Dead Ends. Developmental Biology 357 (1):3-12.
    Three early 20th-century attempts at unifying separate areas of biology, in particular development, genetics, physiology, and evolution, are compared in regard to their success and fruitfulness for further research: Jacques Loeb’s reductionist project of unifying approaches by physico-chemical explanations; Richard Goldschmidt’s anti-reductionist attempts to unify by integration; and Sewall Wright’s combination of reductionist research and vision of hierarchical genetic systems. Loeb’s program, demanding that all aspects of biology, including evolution, be studied by the methods of the experimental sciences, proved highly (...)
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  27. Joachim W. Deitmer (2000). Glial Strategy for Metabolic Shuttling and Neuronal Function. Bioessays 22 (8):747-752.
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  28. François Delaportex (1983). Theories of Osteogenesis in the Eighteenth Century. Journal of the History of Biology 16 (3):343 - 360.
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  29. Bruce Demple (1987). Adaptive Responses to Genotoxic Damage: Bacterial Strategies to Prevent ‐Mutation and Cell Death. Bioessays 6 (4):157-160.
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  30. Rob Denell (1987). Insect Developmental Genetics – Moving Beyond Drosophila. Bioessays 6 (2):77-79.
  31. Chao Deng (2005). Interactions Between Genetic and Environmental Factors Determine Direction of Population Lateralization. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):598-598.
    Direction of the embyro's head rotation is determined by asymmetrical expression of several genes (such as shh, Nodal, lefty, and FGF8) in Hensen's node. This genetically determined head-turning bias provides a base for light-aligned population lateralization in chicks, in which the direction of the lateralization is determined by genetic factors and the degree of the lateralization is determined by environmental factors.
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  32. Herman Denis (1994). A Parallel Between Development and Evolution: Germ Cell Recruitment by the Gonads. Bioessays 16 (12):933-938.
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  33. Barker Desjardins & Pearce (eds.) (forthcoming). Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences. Springer.
  34. Alessandro Dini (1987). Scienze della vita e filosofia nel Seicento e Settecento. [REVIEW] History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 9 (2):327 - 332.
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  35. Guy Dove (2012). Grammar as a Developmental Phenomenon. Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):615-637.
    More and more researchers are examining grammar acquisition from theoretical perspectives that treat it as an emergent phenomenon. In this essay, I argue that a robustly developmental perspective provides a potential explanation for some of the well-known crosslinguistic features of early child language: the process of acquisition is shaped in part by the developmental constraints embodied in von Baer’s law of development. An established model of development, the Developmental Lock, captures and elucidates the probabilistic generalizations at the heart of von (...)
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  36. Gabriel Dover (2000). How Genomic and Developmental Dynamics Affect Evolutionary Processes. Bioessays 22 (12):1153-1159.
  37. Nigel Dower (2000). Human Development – Friend or Foe to Environmental Ethics? Environmental Values 9 (1):39 - 54.
    This article is premised on the assumption that in order for us adequately to protect our environment, significant adjustments need to be made to the ways we pursue and think about development – adjustments not merely to technologies but also to life-styles. In this respect the emphasis in much recent development literature on human development is to be welcomed as a useful corrective to definitions of development in terms of economic growth, though there is still a danger of anthropocentric assumptions. (...)
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  38. S. M. Downes (1999). Ontogeny, Phylogeny, and Scientific Development. In V. Harcastle (ed.), Where Biology Meets Psychology. 273--285.
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  39. Hans Driesch (1937). Studien Zur Theorie der Organischen Formbildung. Acta Biotheoretica 3 (1):51-80.
    The concept of embryological “exactness” is introduced; it becomes rather complicated if a called interaction of embryological parts is in question. From the point of view of the biological mechanist “exactness” is ultimately founded upon a given material structure. The experiment is the only possible way to decide, whether the mechanistic view is right or not; mere description does not suffice here. The decision is in favor of so called vitalism. The “harmonious-equipotential system” implies “exactness”. The “genes” are not the (...)
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  40. Hans Driesch (1936). Zur Kritik Des „Holismus”. Acta Biotheoretica 1 (3):185-202.
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  41. Denis Duboule (1992). The Vertebrate Limb: A Model System to Study the Hox/Hom Gene Network During Development and Evolution. Bioessays 14 (6):375-384.
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  42. B. Duchaine (2011). Developmental Prosopagnosia: Cognitive, Neural, and Developmental Investigations. In Andy Calder, Gillian Rhodes, Mark Johnson & Jim Haxby (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Face Perception. Oup Oxford. 821--838.
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  43. F. Duchesneau (1985). Embryology in the 18th Century: S. Roe's Interpretation]. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 7 (2).
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  44. François Duchesneau (1985). Embryologie au XVIII E Siècle: L'Interprétation de S. Roe. [REVIEW] History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 7 (2):321 - 327.
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  45. Catherine M. Duckett & John C. Gray (1995). Illuminating Plant Development. Bioessays 17 (2):101-103.
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  46. Thomas Eich (2008). Decision-Making Processes Among Contemporary ʻulamā: Islamic Embryology and the Discussion of Frozen Embryos. In Jonathan E. Brockopp & Thomas Eich (eds.), Muslim Medical Ethics: From Theory to Practice. University of South Carolina Press.
  47. Michael Eisenbach & Ilan Tur‐Kaspa (1999). Do Human Eggs Attract Spermatozoa? Bioessays 21 (3):203-210.
  48. Börje Ekstig (1994). Condensation of Developmental Stages and Evolution Shortening of Developmental Stages is a Direct Response to Natural Selection, Independent of Environmental Changes. BioScience 44 (3):158-164.
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  49. Richard P. Elinson (1989). Microtubules and Specification of the Dorsoventral Axis in Frog Embryos. Bioessays 11 (5):124-127.
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  50. Claus Emmeche (2002). The Chicken and the Orphean Egg: On the Function of Meaning and the Meaning of Function. Σημιοτκή-Sign Systems Studies 1 (1):15-32.
    A central aspect of the relation between biosemiotics and biology is investigated by asking: Is a biological concept of function intrinsically related to a biosemiotic concept of sign action, and vice versa? A biological notion of function (as some process or part that serves some purpose in the context of maintenance and reproduction of the whole organism) is discussed in the light of the attempt to provide an understanding of life processes as being of a semiotic nature, i.e., constituted by (...)
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