Microscopic Timelapse Video Captures Magic of Cell Division

March 28, 2017 5:00 am
(Kentish Plumber via Flickr)
(Kentish Plumber via Flickr)


Cell division is an everyday occurrence for just about all living things, but it looks extraordinary when its condensed from 33 hours to 23 seconds.

This stunning time-lapse clip captures the process in a common frog—Rana temporaria—with such crisp detail, it almost looks as if its a computer generated special effect from a major motion picture.


Rest assured, it’s reality. The mind-blowing video is the work of Francis Chee. He used a microscope customized for this purpose, based off an “infinity optical design,” Engadget reports. Chee says he built the lens and the LED lights used to generate the incredible footage.

To get such detail, the microscope was set on an anti-vibration table. Other challenges Chee had to overcome included ambient light, egg timing, and temperature.

After he filmed the cells dividing up close, Chee produced another timelapse clip of the next phase, which starts off where the other ends. Watch a cluster of cells transform into a tadpole below.



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