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From zygote to hatched larva, a cell division time lapse

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Dividing and dividing again over a three week time period, a zygote transforms into a larva in this extraordinary six-minute video. It’s a mix of time lapse and real-time footage from Dutch filmmaker Jan van IJken, who was previously featured for his starling murmuration film ‘The Art of Flying’.

Becoming is available for free thanks to being picked up by National Geographic. In support of his future projects, it will remain available for rent or purchase at Vimeo. A synopsis:

BECOMING is a short film about the miraculous genesis of animal life. In great microscopic detail, we see the ‘making of’ an alpine newt in its transparant egg from the first cell division to hatching. A single cell is transformed into a complete, complex living organism with a beating heart and running bloodstream.

The first stages of embryonic development are roughly the same for all animals, including humans. In the film, we can observe a universal process which normally is invisible: the very beginning of an animal’s life.

…All stages of embryogenesis can be seen in this film: cleavage, gastrulation, neurulation and organogenesis.

cell division of a newt
cell division of a newt
Becoming - Jan van IJken
Related links: Cell division and differentiation.

Watch these related videos next:
• Cell division in a frog egg, a microscopic time lapse video
• Squid: Coming to Life, captured in microscopic detail
• Raising wood frogs, from eggs to tadpoles to adults in 7 weeks

Bonus: The first 21 days of a bee’s life, a time lapse in 64 seconds.

via Aeon.

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