Inner Beauty

Kate Walton, Graduate Student, Cell Biology, Duke University

The inner beauty of the sea urchin embryo is revealed here in multiple colors.
The skeleton (shown in turquoise) is composed of individual cells that become
mineralized to provide the outer framework of the embryo. Supported by the
skeleton, the gut of the embryo is shown in yellow and the muscle is stained
purple. The elaborate organization of the muscle can be seen in the perfectly
organized striations of muscle surrounding the foregut, which allows the embryo
to swallow food. The outline of the gut sphincters can be seen in pink. At the tip
of the embryo, there are 21 muscles that do not have a known function but are
suspected to help the embryo steer as it swims in search of food.

Barbara Hollinger

A bundle of glowing energy, this sea urchin embryo was added
layer by layer onto a single piece of cloth. The web of color
was created using a resist of school glue with each darkening
shade of color applied, one after the other. Once the glue
was washed away, the structure of the embryo remained.
More layers of thread, yarn, beads and paint bring to life the
creature as it floats across the textured background.

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