Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beginnings: when your heart started beating

I found this little movie on the Science Photo lab site. Amazing images and movies about all kinds of things!

It shows the slight but definite spasm in each individual human heart cell.  Your heart started beating when you were about 21 days old - that is, it can be seen at that stage, but it may have begun even earlier.

Take a look

The SPL web site, where the movie can be seen.

The definition of life is that your heart is beating.  That applied once to your twin, and you would have been aware of your twin's tiny, fluttering heartbeat at some stage. If you were once a monozygotic twin, and your blood supply was linked to your twin's, then it was true that "two hearts beat as one" - in total synchrony. 

The synchrony can be so absolute that a doctor, listening to the fetal heartbeat with a stethoscope,  would not be able to tell if there was one baby there or two. This is how sometimes the arrival of two babies comes as a complete surprise to everyone involved!

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