How can mathematics help us explore vertebrate segmentation?
Baker RE., Schnell S.
Since the discovery of gene products oscillating during the formation of vertebral segments, much attention has been directed toward eluciating the molecular basis of the so-called segmentation clock. What research has told us is, that even in the most simple vertebrates, enormously complicated gene networks act in each cell to give rise to oscillations, and that cell-cell communication synchronizes these oscillations between neighboring cells. A number of theories have been proposed to explain both the initiation and maintenance of oscillations in a single cell and the synchronization of such oscillations between cells. We discuss these theories in this Commentary.