Osamu Chisaka (University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City): “This paper is the first report about mice with an inactivated Hox gene— mammalian homologues of fruit fly homeotic genes that define segmented structures of the body through the anterior-posterior axis. This paper has been 'hot' partly because there are 40 or so closely related Hox genes in the mammalian genome, and many researchers have been investigating their functions. In addition, this paper not only describes a phenotype of a Hox gene mutant mouse but also suggests common functions of Hox genes.

“The mutant mouse in this paper showed deficiencies in the structures around the neck, including the thymus and heart, deficiencies that resemble a human neurocristopathy called DiGeorge syndrome. Neural crest cells are very interesting cells that arise from the dorsal edge of the neural tube through the head to tail and differentiate into many structures, such as...

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