|MadSci Network: Development|
Hi Cecily, Apoptosis (a.k.a. programmed cell death) plays an important role in separating the digits on the hands and feet by eliminating tissue between our fingers and toes during embryonic development. In the absence of apoptosis, our fingers and toes would develop with webbing between the digits. Although several cellular processes are critical for proper tongue development, apoptosis does not play a major role in determining its length. The fingers and toes begin to form during embryonic development: "Formation of hand paddle - 34-38 days Onset of finger separation - 38-40 days Full separation of fingers - 50-52 days" (from http://www.emedicine.com/plastic/topic516.htm) Here's a nice overview of tongue development including an animation, diagrams and photos: http://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/Notes/head6.htm Best wishes, Chris Reigstad
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