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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Researchers Reveal the First-ever 3D Image Turns Itself Inside-Out

3D image of embryo

(Photo : Stephanie Hohn/Aurelia Honerkamp-Smith/Raymond E. Goldstein) Researchers have captured the first 3-D video of a living algal embryo turning itself inside out and back again.

University of Cambridge scientists, with the use of a fluorescence microscopy, observed the first-ever 3D images of an embryo that conducts the vital process of gastrulation that seems to involve in developing organism that turns itself inside-out.

Published in the Physical Review Letters journal, British researchers described the outcome of their observation and explained that they were able to make use and test a mathematical model of morphogenes. It is the process on which the embryo goes through to define and figure out the possible shape of the organism.

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It is believed that gastrulation happened during morphogenesis as it marked when an embryo turns inside-out from being a sphere up to becoming a mushroom shape and back to its original shape. The observation does show that the embryo does fold inward and it does forms the primary germ layers that that intensify body’s organ.

The team who study the embryos opted to use green algae, which is popularly known as Volvox, as it is ideal to their study since they accomplish their transformation just by shifting cell shapes and the connections between cells are relatively simple compared to an animal embryo gastrulation. Scientists are having a hard time in observing animal gastrulation as they are highly complex and difficult to understand.

“Until now there was no quantitative mechanical understanding of whether those changes were sufficient to account for the observed embryo shapes, and existing studies by conventional microscopy were limited to two-dimensional sections and analyses of chemically fixed embryos, rendering comparisons with theory on the dynamics difficult,” said author of the study, Raymond E. Goldstein.

In the future, the study team are hoping that they can be able to apply the outcome of their research that involves human embryos.

Co-author of the study Stephanie Hohn, cellular biologist is excited as they were able to visualize the intriguing process in a 3D version.

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