The Biology of Twins (Mammals)

The Biology of Twins (Mammals)

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The Biology of Twins (Mammals)

The Biology of Twins (Mammals)

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Everyone is or should be interested in twins. It is my task to bring together the facts about twins and to show the bearings of these facts on fundamental problems of biology. It would be an easy task to write a treatise on twins for the expert embryologist or student of genetics, but it is far less easy to present this material adequately and to make it crystal-clear to those who are not specialists. It has seemed necessary to strike a compromise between a technical presentation and a somewhat popular treatment of the subject. Much of the more general matter in all of the chapters will be found available for the general reader, but some of the descriptive embryology, which is the foundation of our special knowledge, will be rather difficult even to the embryologist. Every effort has been made to simplify this part of the book without running the risk of denaturizing it. Again, there are parts of the chapters on heredity that will appeal especially to students of that important subject, but will have only a minor appeal to the general reader.

It is impossible to avoid technical terms, especially in descriptive embryology, but where certain simple terms serve as well as the more technical ones they will be used. In referring to early embryos of human beings or of armadillos we might use the words "blastodermic vesicle" or "blastocyst," but it will be simpler to use the common word "egg" for the early mammalian embryo and its membranes. Again, in speaking of . . .

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