Hidden compartments launch ‘fireworks’ when eggs get fertilized

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Whether you’re a frog or a human, reproduction is an occasion of cellular celebration. New research finds that in species separated by millions of years of evolution, a fertilized egg gives off a fireworks show of metal atoms

This microscopic shower of sparks was discovered in human eggs in 2014, leading researchers  to wonder what purpose the sudden release of metals served. Now, the same researchers who discovered the original fertilization fireworks have found that the same thing happens in fertilization in frogs — organisms that are separated from humans by 300 million years of evolution. Both manganese and zinc atoms explode from the eggs’ membranes right after the sperm make contact. 

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