Life Sciences

Live Beating Cells

A microscope that projects its image on a monitor shows how individual living heart cells from an 8-day-old chicken embryo contract or "beat". All living things are made up of cells. Many organisms are made up of cells that work together. Cells that touch each other beat at the same time, but those that do not touch may not beat together. Touching cells are able to communicate, causing the cells to beat at the same pace. This is why clusters of heart cells beat as a unit in the exhibit, and in the human heart.