PROFESSORS P.M. MOTTA & S. MAKABE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROFESSORS P.M. MOTTA & S. MAKABE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph of blastomeres and fragments in a 4-6 cell embryo. The blastomeres (large, orange, lower frame) are the cells formed from divisions of the fertilized egg (ovum). Smaller fragments of blastomeres are evident above them (upper frame). The production of small fragments such as these is quite normal in a rapidly dividing zygote. The fragments would be much larger and more numerous if the embryo were degenerating. Surrounding the embryo is a membranous envelope, the zona pellucida (yellow). Magnification: x2320 at 5x7cm size.
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