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Over two centuries later, the mystery of left and right still captivates scientists.
“I know what it is, you know what it is, but how does the embryo learn what it is?” asked Dominic P. Norris, a developmental biologist at the University of Cambridge in England.
Now Dr. Norris and other scientists are beginning to answer that question. They have pinpointed some of the steps by which embryos’ organs develop on the left or right. And their research may do more than simply solve an old puzzle.