It is fair to say that in a world where computers are able to turn almost anything into reality, we have become a little spoiled by the possibilities of CGI.
But now an incredible time-lapse video has captured cell division at a microscopic level, without the help of any digital tricks or enhancement.
Scientist Francis Chee shared the two-part films on YouTube, showing cells dividing into a tadpole over a period of 33 hours, from a single cell zygote.
The video was made possible using a unique custom-built microscope based on the ‘infinity optical design’ that Chee created in his laboratory, using LED and optics to light up the egg.
Shot over a period of two days, the slide was kept at a stable temperature of between fifteen and seventeen degrees celcius, according to Chee, as temperature is paramount to the rate of division.
The second video picks up where the first left off, clearly showing the animal pole as visible in the upper half of the image, and the formation of the neural crest and embryonic eyes and gill and tail.
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