IMAGES: Watch What Develops

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Science  06 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5685, pp. 759
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5685.759b

Forget about the first day of kindergarten, your wedding, or your trip to Graceland. The event that really changed your life was gastrulation, the massive rearrangement of cells during embryonic development that establishes the body plan. Researchers and students can follow the intricacies of the process by screening these videos from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press in New York.

During gastrulation, cells from the embryo's surface stream into its interior, creating the three-layered body architecture characteristic of most animals. The site's more than 30 movies, posted to supplement a new textbook on gastrulation, let you view these cellular migrations in animals from nematodes to salamanders to mice. Here, an embryo from the frog Xenopus laevis appears to fold in on itself.

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