16 June 2023

First Artificial Human Embryos Created from Stem Cells

Biologists have announced the creation of artificial structures similar to embryos from human stem cells. The study is reported by The Guardian.

Researchers from the U.S. and Great Britain have announced the creation of the first embryonic structures from human stem cells without the use of sperm or eggs. The embryos are all in the early stages of development. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Boston and approved for publication in a scientific journal.

The new research builds on previous discoveries that have made it possible to grow artificial embryos from mouse stem cells. The researchers used a similar technique: by acting on individual human embryonic stem cells, the researchers were able to develop three separate embryonic leaves. These include the cells from which the yolk sac, the placenta and the embryo itself normally develop.

According to the developers, this is the first artificial model of a human embryo with three germ sheets. They emphasize that although the structures grown in the laboratory mimic some features of a natural embryo, it does not possess all, nor is it a complete embryo from which a human being can develop.

Such model embryos, the researchers believe, will help learn more about the most mysterious stage of human development. The processes that occur in the first 14 days after fertilization.

"I just want to emphasize that they are not human embryos. They are models, but they are very interesting because they look like human embryos. And this is a very important way to explore why there are so many failed pregnancies in the world, because most of them fail during the early stages of development for which we create these embryo-like models," Magdalena Zernicka-Getz, co-author of the study.

Source: Synthetic human embryos created in groundbreaking advance | Biology | The Guardian

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