Saturday, October 13, 2018

Mouse Embryo Development: Minute by Minute, Cell by Cell.

Image result for mouse embryo

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

Sharon Begley has a short report in STAT on two days of mouse embryo development. The technology used is breathtakingly novel. The microscope makes use of laser light and artificial intelligence so that developing tissues are kept in focus constantly as the embryo develops.

The research was done by researchers on the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Virginia). What is astonishing is that single cells could be traced throughout during the biological choreography of development.

Begley draws attention to one of the features of the research design: "the embryos could be kept alive for only two days," (so the Janelia research group) chose a key window of time within that limit: the 48 hours from when the embryos were 6.5 days old. That's the period from when they develop three distinct cell layers (as human embryos also do)."

Begley's report on this research includes a short film of the progression of embryonic development captured by this "smart microscope."

The original report was published in the journal Cell (October 11, 2018). While hidden behind a paywall, a video abstract and a graphical abstract are available in addition to a list of highlights and the paper's abstract.

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