Researchers from the University of Cambridge have accomplished something that is really astonishing given the scale at which the event was actually taking place. Impressively, a time-lapse video actually captures an embryo turning itself inside out. The team pointed out that the shape of the embryo slowly goes from a round shape, to a mushroom shape, and then goes back to the round shape again. The entire metamorphosis was captured in this time-lapse footage.
The things that were happening though were happening at such a small scale though that the team had to use fluorescence microscopy to actually see the events unfold. Professor Raymond Goldstein who led the study and subsequent research pointed out that, “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.”
That’s a major problem, too. Previously, this was something that scientists weren’t really sure about actually being able to quantify in physical photo or video. While it was happening, it was something that was happening on such a small scale that it became difficult to even determine the process of it happening. Dr. Stephanie Hohn, who was a part of the team pointed out that, “It’s exciting to be able to finally visualize this intriguing process in 3D,” due to the fact that this was not previously put into this type of perspective.
The good that this study does is actually quite powerful because it gives scientists and researchers a new vantage point to look from. They will be able to see the specifics of something that was previously unseen. At this point though, the entire science community is waiting for the next best piece of information to come from this area of study, now that the base work has been laid out.