Beetle Embryo Forming Inside an Egg
About this video
Tracking cell movements in 3D
Matt Benton from the University of Cambridge explains how cellular nuclei move inside a beattle egg as the embryo develops.
"during development in this beetle, a large number cells must move together at a certain location of the egg to form the embryo proper. At the same time, other cells move to overlap the forming embryo, to protect it and help it grow. Currently, we only have a basic understanding of how these different groups of cells move."
Benton's work is looking at how the movements of different groups of cells are controlled and coordinated, and is developing methods to track these in live embryos.
"The beetle shown in this video has been genetically modified so that the nucleus of each cell is labelled with a fluorescent protein. By using a certain microscope, I am able to record the movements of these cells in 3D, as the embryo develops."
The width of this egg is 300 micrometres, and the length is 600 micrometres (1 metre is 1,000,000 micrometres). So the width of this egg is roughly 3 times the width of a human hair.
The time span of the movie is about 5.5 hours.
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