Chapter I, Pt 1
General Sketch of the Cell
Chapter I, Pt 2
General Sketch of the Cell cont.
Chapter II, Pt 1
Chapter II, Pt 2
Cell Division cont.
Chapter III, Pt 1
The Germ Cells
Chapter III, Pt 2
The Germ Cells cont.
Chapter IV, Pt 1
Fertilization of the Ovum
Chapter IV, Pt 2
Fertilization of the Ovum cont.
Chapter V, Pt 1
Oogenesis and Spermatogenesis, Reduction of the Chromosomes
Chapter V, Pt 2
Oogenesis and Spermatogenesis..., cont.
Chapter VI, Pt 1
Some Problems of Cell-Organization
Chapter VI, Pt 2
Some Problems of Cell-Organization cont.
Chapter XVII, Pt 1
Some Aspects of Cell-Chemistry and Cell-Physiology
Chapter XVII, Pt 2
Some Aspects of Cell-Chemistry and Cell-Physiology cont.
Chapter XVIII, Pt 1
Cell-Division and Development
Chapter XVIII, Pt 2
Cell-Division and Development cont.
Chapter XIX, Pt 1
Theories of Inheritance and Development
Chapter XIX, Pt 1
Theories of Inheritance and Development cont.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Edmund Beecher Wilson was a pioneering American zoologist and geneticist. He wrote one of the most famous textbooks in the history of modern biology, The Cell in Development and Inheritance. He and Nettie Maria Stevens were the first researchers to describe the chromosomal basis of sex, but they conducted their research independently of each other. Wilson is credited as America's first cell biologist. In 1898 he used the similarity in embryos to describe phylogenetic relationships. By observing spiral cleavage in molluscs, flatworms and annelids he concluded that the same organs came from the same group of cells and concluded that all these organisms must have a common ancestor.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Edmund B. Wilson was the leading cytologist of his time and The Cell in Development and Inheritance was the definitive text on cytology from 1896 into the 1930's. A modern reader will be surprised to see how many of the illustrations in the book seem familiar – versions of many of them still appear in textbooks of introductory biology. The last chapter in the book is entitled "Theories of Inheritance and Development:, and it begins: Every discussion of inheritance and development must take as its point of departure the fact that the germ is a single cell similar in its essential nature to any one of the tissue-cells of which the body is composed. That a cell can carry with it the sum total of the heritage of the species, that it can in the course of a few days or weeks give rise to a mollusk or a man, is the greatest marvel of biological science. In attempting to analyze the problems that it involves, we must from the outset hold fast to the fact, on which Huxley insisted, that the wonderful formative energy of the germ is not impressed upon it from without, but is inherent in the egg as a heritage from the parental life of which it was originally a part. The development of the embryo is nothing new. It involves no breach of continuity, and is but a continuation of the vital processes going on in the parental body. What gives development its marvelous character is the rapidity with which it proceeds and the diversity of the results attained in a span so brief. But when we have grasped this cardinal fact, we have but focussed our instruments for a study of the real problem. How do the adult characteristics lie latent in the germ-cell