DR YORGOS NIKAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR YORGOS NIKAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eight-cell embryo. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human embryo at the eight cell stage, three days after fertilisation. Known as a morula, this is a cluster of eight large rounded cells called blastomeres. Smaller spherical structures (centre right and left) will degenerate. The surface of each cell is covered in microvilli. This embryo is at the early stage of transformation into a human composed of millions of cells. Here it is dividing to form a hollow ball of cells (the blastocyst). At this eight-cell stage the morula has not yet implanted in the uterus (womb). Magnification: x900 at 6x7cm size. Mag.: x2,500 at 8x10"; x1080 at 4x5" size.
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