A Japanese team of researchers have turned embryonic mouse stem cells into a very basic eye, or ‘optic cup’. This video shows a time-lapse of the cells self-organising into the structure:
As you watch the video and read the article, think about the following curriculum links:
- How do cells ‘organise’ and how do stem cells become differentiated?
- What might be the therapeutic uses of this in the future?
- What functionality does this ‘eye’ have compared to ours?
“Remarkably, the rudimentary eye and the different types of cells it contained took shape spontaneously from a floating cluster of embryonic stem cells the scientists had cultured.”
The annual Illusion Of The Year Contest winners are featured on NewScientist.com. They give a god insight into how our brain processes visual stimuli and look really cool at the same time. Here is the winner:
One of my favourites is this flash animation of waveforms with toggles to control what you focus on. Try it!
All of the illusions (from 2010 and before) are online here: