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Neuronal lineages: a key to understanding nervous system function and evolution in insects and crustaceans

In dominating most terrestrial, marine and aerial environments, insects and crustaceans have evolved complex behaviors controlled by a sophisticated, versatile nervous system.  Our work on the segmental nervous system of Drosophila over the past 10 years has shown that the insect CNS is built from a set of functional modules.  Each module is comprised of a cardinal class of interneurons that arises from a specific stem cell and that typically forms a particular component of the circuitry controlling either walking or flight.  The set of stem cells that make a segmental g


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