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Ballet of Growth and Fusion': See the Time-Lapsed View of a Face Developing in the Womb


"...fit together like a puzzle."

(Image: BBC screenshot via New Scientist)

The Blaze has recently brought you a video showing the first footage of an MRI revealing twins interacting in the womb and another showing the MRI of a live birth. Here's another video first: the time-lapsed development of the human face in the womb.

The footage, put together from data of embryo scans from one to three months after conception, is part of BBC's "Inside the Human Body" series. New Scientist explains further:

Virtual sculptures were created at different stages, then combined by mapping hundreds of points to corresponding dots on the other models. "It was a nightmare for structures like the nose and palate, which didn't exist for most of the animation," says David Barker, the graphics researcher on the production. "Their formation is a complicated ballet of growth and fusion of moving plates of tissue."

A close look at the animation reveals that a face forms from three main features that rotate into place, meeting at the philtrum, the groove above the top lip. The transformation occurs with very precise timing and delays can result in a cleft lip or palate.

The show's host Michael Mosely explains in the clip that the images show "how our faces don't just 'grow,' but fit together like a puzzle." He says that the sections of the puzzle, meet in the middle of your top lip, "creating the groove that is your philtrum."

Watch the clip:

(H/T: Business Insider)

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