Development and Reproduction: An Introduction -- Stages and Principles of Animal Development Terms of Developmental Biology -- The Start: Fertilization, Activation of the Egg and a First Series of Cell Divisions (Cleavage) -- Model Organisms in Developmental Biology I: Invertebrates -- Development of Important Model Species II: Vertebrates -- The Human -- In Preparation for New Life I: Sex Determination and Sexual Development -- In Preparation for New Life II: Gametogenesis: The Development of Egg Cells and Sperm and Their Provision with Heritable Reserves -- Specification of Body Axes and Localized Fate Allotment by External and Maternal Cues -- Positional Information, Embryonic Induction and Pattern Formation by Cell-Cell-Communication -- Controlling Signals, Signal Propagation and Signal Transduction -- Development and Genes -- Application- Oriented Experiments with Early Vertebrate Embryos: Cloning, Transgenic Animals -- Morphogenesis: Shaping by Active Cell Movement, Differential Cell Adhesion and Cell Death -- Long Distance Wanderers and the Various Fates of the Neural Crest Cells -- The Nervous System and Central Sensory Organs -- Heart and Blood Vessels -- Stem cells, Regeneration, Regenerative Medicine -- Growth Control and Cancer -- Metamorphosis and its Hormonal Control -- Immortality or Ageing and Death: What is Nature's Aim? -- Evolution of Development. This book describes human development including sexual reproduction and stem cell research with the development of model organisms that are accessible to genetic and experimental analysis in readily understandable texts and 315 multi-colored graphics. The introductory account of model organisms selected from the entire animal kingdom presents general principles, which are then outlined in subsequent chapters devoted to, for example, sexual development; genes controlling development and their contemporary molecular-analysis methods; production of clones and transgenic animals; development of the nervous and circulatory systems; regenerative medicine and ageing. Finally the evolution of developmental toolkits and novelties is discussed including the genetic basis of the enlargement of the human forebrain. Separate boxes are devoted to controversial questions such as the benefits and problems of prenatal diagnostics or the construction of ancient body plans.