Issue compiled and edited by Yanlan Mao, Celeste M Nelson and Jeremy BA Green
A rapidly advancing frontier in biology is the observation and analysis of how cells make tissues and structures in the body. This level of description links the genome to the physical forms – the morphology – that we actually see in health and disease. Its analysis has been facilitated by new technologies and applications in microscopy and computation. The editors of this theme issue have coined the term “systems morphodynamics” to capture this approach to the study of biological development.
Articles in this issue cover a spectrum of advances, from the practical questions of how to acquire images, via approaches to extraction and modelling of cellular behaviours, to new insights into developmental motifs. These are the approaches and ideas that promise to carry the uses of stem cells for regenerative medicine beyond differentiation of the cell-type of choice towards building and controlling regenerated tissue and organ architecture.
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