There’s much that happens in the first few hours of a fruit fly's life. Groups of cells part to help form the mesoderm, other cells migrate from the rear to back of the embryo, and others come together to close a gap in the its back. And now, for the first time, you can watch all of theses changes unfold in 3D.
That’s thanks to a new microscopy technique developed by researcher Lars Hufnagel’s group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. The technique is called multi-view selective-plane illumination microscopy (SPIM), which takes the recent interest in SPIM techniques to a new level (1).
"This video shows a fruit fly embryo from when it was about two-and-a-half hours old until it walked away from the microscope as a larva, 20 hours later," said Hufnagel in a statement. "It shows all the hallmarks of fruit fly embryonic development in three dimensions."
- Tomer, R., K. Khairy, F. Amat, and P. J. Keller. 2012. Quantitative high-speed imaging of entire developing embryos with simultaneous multiview light-sheet microscopy. Nat Meth advance online publication(June).