Synthetic Embryo With Brain and Heart Formed Without Using Eggs or Sperm.

Asynthetic embryo with cells capable of forming a brain and a beating heart was developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge using mouse stem cells. EuroNews described the effort as “yet another success in the unfolding race to develop embryos from human and mouse stem cells.”

The team, led by Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, developed the embryo model without using any eggs or sperm. The researchers used stem cells, specifically three types found in early mammalian development.

“By inducing the expression of a particular set of genes and establishing a unique environment for their interactions, the researchers were able to get the stem cells to ‘talk’ to each other,” explains a summary of the work.

“The stem cells self-organised into structures that progressed through the successive developmental stages until they had beating hearts and the foundations of the brain, as well as the yolk sac where the embryo develops and gets nutrients from in its first weeks.”

The synthetic embryo model developed by the Cambridge team is unique, as it reached a record level of development where the entire brain, including the anterior portion, began to develop.

The findings, which took researchers over a decade of work, could potentially be useful in understanding why some pregnancies fail along with developing synthetic organs for patients awaiting transplants.

The research also opens “new possibilities to study the mechanisms of neurodevelopment in an experimental model,” according to Zernicka-Goetz.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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