Int. J. Dev. Biol. 51: 429 - 438 (2007)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.072390fg
© UPV/EHU Press

The molecular biology of ear development - "Twenty years are nothing"

Fernando Giraldez1,* and Bernd Fritzsch

1Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB), Barcelona, Spain and 2Creighton University, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Omaha, NE, USA

ABSTRACT Views of classical biological problems changed dramatically with the rise of molecular biology as a common framework. It was indeed the new language of life sciences. Molecular biology increasingly moved us towards a unified view of developmental genetics as ideas and techniques were imported to vertebrates from other biological systems where genetics was in a more advanced state. The ultimate advance has been the ability to actually perform genetic manipulations in vertebrate organisms that were almost unthinkable before. During the last two decades these technical advances entered into and affected the research on ear development. These events are still very recent and have been with us for no longer than two decades, which is the reason for the title of this article. This new scenario forms the basis of the current and productive work of many laboratories, and this is what this Special Issue of The International Journal of Developmental Biology wants to show, presenting a snapshot of insights at the beginning of the 21st Century. In this article, we give an overview of the topics that are addressed in this Ear Development Special Issue, and also we take the opportunity to informally dig into the genealogy of some of those topics, trying to link the current work with some classical work of the past.


cell fate, patterning, hair cell, otic neuron, morphogenesis, evolution, regeneration

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