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3D MRI of a 6-day-old quail egg

  • Suzanne Duce / University of Dundee
  • Digital Images
  • Online

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view 3D MRI of a 6-day-old quail egg

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This image shows the surface structure of a Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) egg. The image was captured as part of a series of MRI scans to show the development of a 6-day-old quail embryo. The developing live embryo within this egg would be about 14 mm in length at this stage. Avian embryos are important experimental models for investigating embryonic development and in particular the processes that control the laying down of the body plan and organogenesis. Their importance is due, at least in part, to the fact that they are encased within an egg which provides nearly all the components necessary for development allowing scientists to study the development of the embryo outside the body of the mother. In addition to the embryo, the egg is composed of extra-embryonic and non-embryonic components. The extra-embryonic components (e.g. yolk sac, allantois and amnion) are temporary structures participating in fundamental metabolic processes such as respiration, nutrition and excretion. The non-embryonic components of the egg (e.g. yolk, albumen and shell) provide nutrients and also physical and microbial protection for the growing embryo.

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