Artwork illustrating an 8-cell human embryo

Artwork illustrating an 8-cell human embryo

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Credit: BSIP VEM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eight-cell embryo. Artwork illustrating a primitive human embryo composed of 8 cells, approximately two days after fertilisation. The 8 cells are surrounded by the zona pellucida, a thick spongy layer originally surrounding the ovum. The 8-cell stage follows the initial mitotic divisions which ultimately transform a single- celled organism into one composed of millions of cells. Subsequent division of these 8 cells (called blastomeres) results in the formation of a hollow ball of cells (the blastocyst) part of which will eventually develop into the foetus. Formation of the blastocyst occurs before the embryo implants into the uterine wall.

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Keywords: 8-cell embryo, 8-cell stage, artwork, blastomere, conceptus, embryo, human body

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