Fundamental questions in developmental biology are: what genes are expressed, where and when they are expressed, what is the level of expression and how are these programs changed by the functional and structural alteration of genes? These questions have been addressed by studying one gene at a time, but a new research field that handles many genes in parallel is emerging. The methodology is at the interface of large-scale genomics approaches and developmental biology. Genomics needs developmental biology because one of the goals of genomics - collection and analysis of all genes in an organism - cannot be completed without working on embryonic tissues in which many genes are uniquely expressed. However, developmental biology needs genomics - the high-throughput approaches of genomics generate information about genes and pathways that can give an integrated view of complex processes. This article discusses these new approaches and their applications to mammalian developmental biology.
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