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MCAT Question A Day - 5/27/13 - Answer!

In some organisms, the first four cells of the early embryo (if isolated and grown in the laboratory) can only lead to the development of a specific quarter of the developing individual. In other organisms, however, the first four cells can each lead to the development of an entire individual. What term is associated with these phenomena?

A.  Implantation
B.  Neurulation
C.  Determination
D.  Yolk formation

The correct answer is (C). The first example described in the question represents “determinate cleavage,” whereas the second example represents “indeterminate cleavage.” The other choices are terms related to different aspects of early embryology but are irrelevant to this specific question.