baudrunner's space: Creation in 'reel' time
"Philosophy to Science - Quark to Cosmos. Musings on the Fundamental Nature of reality"

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Creation in 'reel' time

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have used a new type of microscope to image the first 24 hours of a zebra fish's embryonic development and have turned the images into a video. This video, shown below, is a provocative demonstration of what happens during the earliest stages of embryonic development.

This is the first time that this feat has been accomplished with a vertebrate, which is a much more complex life form than a simple worm, for example, for which this process has been already been performed. Every single cell must be traced as they divide and migrate throughout the blastosphere and organize themselves into the recognizable pattern of an embryo. This achievement has been compared to following all the residents of a town about for an entire day using a telescope in space.

Presumably, scientists will gain insight into the nature of this highly complex cell organization which ultimately produces a living creature by studying movies like these. For my part, the video only raises more questions, and instills in me a greater awe for the very concept of life itself and how it develops, seemingly as a matter of course, so very miraculously.

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