What can we learn from mutants?

What can we learn from mutants?

Don't go conjuring up images of giant, city devouring monsters, or crime fighting turtles; those aren't the kinds of mutants we learn from. I'm talking about mutations that arise during the development of an organism and how scientists are able to use them in order to learn about the process of embryonic development. We all know that a sperm fertilizes an egg, and an embryo develops, eventually giving rise to a new organism. What you may not realize is that there are a lot of different ways to get from the first cell to a juvenile organism. In the course of my research, I've come across two interesting developmental abnormalities that serve to illustrate two of the major modes of development. 

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