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From cell to complex organism: the most spectacular video you’ll see in a long time

Watch a Single Cell Become a Complex Organism in Just Six Minutes

From cell to complex organism- the most spectacular video you'll see in a long time 1

All animals come from a single cell that, after being fertilized, divides and produces millions of specialized cells. But not every day we have the opportunity to observe the process in the very first close-up.

The Dutchman Jan van IJken spent three weeks recording the embryonic development of an Alpine newt, a kind of European salamander, and summarized the process in a six-minute time lapse. The result is this spectacular short film that shows at the microscopic level all the stages of the beginning of life: from the fertilization of the egg, the division and cellular differentiation of the zygote and the complete development of the embryo, to the hatching of the tadpole in the water.

The short film is called Becoming and has been screened at more than 20 international festivals. “In the film we can observe a universal process that is normally invisible: the very beginning of the life of an animal,” says van IJken on his website. “A single cell is transformed into a complete and complex living organism, with a beating heart and a bloodstream.”

Once its organs have formed and the triton has emerged from the egg, it feeds on plankton until legs grow and can move to the ground. Someday it will return to lay its eggs in shallow waters, where its larvae will be born and will repeat this universal process of life.

Aeon Video via Kottke ]

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