Date Published: May 11, 2004
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Partial Text: The heart starts beating and pumps blood through the body long before it has achieved its mature architecture. In theory, this provides a chance for cardiac function to sculpt cardiac structure, an intriguing possibility for developmental biologists, and one of potentially great clinical import for cardiologists seeking to identify the causes of (often fatal) cardiac anomalies. In this issue of PLoS Biology, Thomas Bartman et al. use the powerful tools afforded by zebrafish genetics to dissect the early steps of heart valve formation. In the process, they provide evidence for a causal relationship between the early function of the heart and its final structure.