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Art of Science image titled Life in the Dunes

Scientist Collaborator Kadeem A. Richardson

Romana Nowak Laboratory

Zeiss LSM 880 Confocal Microscope with Airyscan Superresoution

Funded by the National Institutes of Health

Embryonic development, or embryogenesis, represents the crucial early stages of prenatal development where the embryo forms and begins to take shape. Among other factors, the environment can play a role in the pregnancy and in turn, development of the embryo. Researchers are investigating the impact of the pregnant person’s exposure to environmental toxicants during the early stages of pregnancy. 

Shown here is a two day-old embryo (top image) and a five day-old blastocyst (bottom image) from mice taken at 20X magnification. The images are adorned with layers of CT scans of uteruses and knee joints and small dots representing the number of cells in each image. Through its soft tones and robust images, this piece reminds us of the delicate yet powerful nature of reproduction.