How do cells know what to do?

Each cell in the growing embryo must end up in the right place, doing the right job. The fate of a particular cell depends on its location, the instructions it receives from other cells and those it receives from its own genes. The same instruction can sometimes affect different cells in different ways. It is a bit like a fire drill in a building: people react to the sound of the alarm differently, depending on where they are, what other people tell them and what the nearest instructions say.

Back to top


These neurons received instructions telling them where and how to grow.


Principal Funder:

Wellcome trust

Major Sponsors:

GlaxoSmithKline life technologies