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© Aude NOMMICK / IJM / CNRS Images



On the tip of the tongue

This microscopic image of a sea urchin embryo after five hours of growth reveals the subtle process of cell division. Inside each cell (outlined in turquoise), the microtubules of the mitotic spindle (red) pull the chromosomes (green) in opposite directions, forming two new cells. The sea urchin embryo at an early stage is a biological model as original as it is useful: it helps to identify all the mechanisms that determine cell division orientation in human tissues and the consequences of alterations to these processes, such as the development of certain cancers.

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