Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 7th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Accelerated time-lapse footage of a zebrafish embryo developing its sensory nervous system

24 October 2018

Sensing Victory

This video shows a zebrafish embryo as it develops an elaborate network of neurons, the sensory nervous system, which will allow it to make sense of the world around it. Sights, smells and tastes are detected by receptors then encoded into electronic signals that are transmitted along the wire-like axons of sensory neurons. Captured here, developing axons are sprouting upwards, away from the circular cell body of each neuron. The axons form an elaborate, spider-web like network. Sixteen hours of time-lapse footage were sped-up to form this short clip. It was captured with an unconventional microscope technique that allowed the embryo to grow in water, its natural environment. This was more challenging than standard techniques that typically hold specimens in place during filming. Such high-quality footage helps researchers to investigate how healthy neurons develop and what might go wrong in neurodegenerative diseases.

Written by Deborah Oakley

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.