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The heart is one of the first organs to form during mammalian development and, in a human, was thought to form a beating structure from 3 weeks following conception. But now new imaging techniques have shown that the process occurs even earlier.

Paul Riley

Paul Riley speaks to Chris Smith at The Naked Scientists to explain this new study published in eLife by Tyser et al. The British Heart Foundation study looks at new embryo imaging techniques pioneered by Shankar Srinivas that have enabled the team to look at contracting cells in early stage embryo development and the calcium signals that drive this contraction. Read more from the full interview.

Paul's work is also discussed in the eLife podcast 'Time to beat'.