A cluster of cells – so we started all our lives. Researchers now have the first day of a vertebrate embryo recorded.
The cells divide incredibly quickly, form a body axis. Then come the head and tail of the zebrafish. In the end, have developed around the 20 000 cells. Each individual cell of which researchers have recorded at Philipp Keller of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in the first 24 hours of developing embryo of a vertebrate. “Just imagine, the inhabitants of a city seen for a day with a space telescope. That’s about as if they observe tens of thousands of cells that make up a vertebrate embryo – only that the cells move in three dimensions, “says Keller.
Embryo Development View
From these data, the researchers reconstructed digital views of embryo development. Jochen Wittbrodt of the EMBL compares the virtual zebrafish happy with satellite images in Google EarthTM. It is possible to zoom into the cellular sector. The digital embryo is thus suitable for teaching purposes. “Scientists could use the data to answer their own questions,” explains Wittbrodt. Perhaps by some animal experiments are unnecessary. The virtual embryo could develop into a platform, that will contribute to the various researchers present their findings.
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