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Contact: Susan Trulove
Virginia Tech

Asynchronous Cell Division 551 Million Years Ago

Caption: This image is a volume rendering of a 31-celled animal embryo from the Doushantuo Formation. Isosurface models of individual cells were generated by scanning the embryos with a microfocus X-ray CT-scanner at Amherst College, and generating polygon models that correspond to compositional variations in each cell membrane boundary. This embryo illustrates one of many instances of asynchronous cell division discovered by the international scientific team, and suggests that complex programs of cell division machinery had developed by at least 551 million years ago.

Credit: Provided by James Hagadorn

Usage Restrictions: With coverage of the discovery reported in Science

Related news release: Possible evidence of cell division, differentiation found in oldest known embryo fossils

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