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J. P. Hill and the Neural Crest

Although a number projects remained incomplete at Hill's death, his project, which had been conducted with Dr. Katherine P. Watson, on the development of the brain and neural crest received particular attention.

For example:

A. S. Romer in 1972 (p.129) states: it may be noted that evidence that in mammals the neural crest contributes to the jaw cartilages had been discovered in 1911, by a student working under Professor J. P. Hill of University College, London, but the fact was not published for nearly half a century (Hill and Watson, 1958) a delay due, it seems, to reluctance of the professor supervising the students' work to commit treason to the germ layer theory!

Brian Hall (1999, p. 10). A further fine example of the tenacity of the germ-layer theory in relation to the neural crest is the delay in publication until 1958 of a study by J. P. Hill and his graduate student Katherine Watson on the neural crest origin of mandibular and maxillary arch mesenchyme and cranial ganglia in Australian marsupials and in the American opossum.

To what extent is this view correct?

Stay tuned!

Hall, B.K. (1999) The Neural Crest in Development and Evolution. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Romer, A.S. (1972) The vertebrate as a dual animal -- somatic and visceral. in: T. Dobzhansky, MK Hecht and WC Steere (eds) Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 6. pp. 121-156). New York: Appleton Century Crofts.

Hill and Watson's draft of neural crest reconstruction in 8.5 mm Dasyurus embryo. These reconstructions were performed by hand using grapahical methods.

Larger view of this image is shown here.






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