Mammalian development is a sophisticated program coordinated by a complex set of genetic and physiological factors. Alterations in anatomy or morphology provide intrinsic measures of progress in or deviations from this program. Emerging three-dimensional imaging methods now allow for more sophisticated morphological assessment than ever before, enabling comprehensive phenotyping, visualization of anatomical context and patterns, automated and quantitative morphological analysis, as well as improved understanding of the developmental time course. Furthermore, these imaging tools are becoming increasingly available and will consequently play a prominent role in elucidating the factors that direct and influence mammalian development.
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