Lab creates human embryo models

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 10 months ago

Four teams of scientists from Israel, China, the US and Britain have successfully created models of human embryos using stem cells. The models resemble early human embryos and can provide insights into the development of fertility and early-stage human development. These models are not real embryos and can never develop into human beings. The research aims to unravel details of the first few weeks of development that have not been understood so far. Scientists have been trying to create models of human embryos to pave the way for new treatments for infertility and diseases such as cancer. If scientists can create reliable models of embryos, they will be able to test potential causes of pregnancy failures and screen drugs that women take when they’re pregnant. In addition, the models could pave the way for stem cell treatments for diseases such as cancer. Researchers would take skin cells from a patient and douse them with chemicals to put them into a stem-cell-like state. With other chemical baths, those stem cells could then be turned into an embryo model, which could in turn develop into the early blood cells the patient needs after a transplant. The research has ethical implications and has raised concerns among ethicists that it could further complicate the already complex regulation of embryo research. The scientists behind the new work were quick to stress that they had not created real embryos and that their clusters of stem cells could never give rise to a human being. The models were created by mixing stem cells together to produce a structure that resembles an early human embryo in many respects. The researchers coaxed stem cells to mimic some of the cell types and then mixed them together. As the cells communicated to each other, they divided and formed new structures that resembled parts of embryos.


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