The First Synthetic Embryos Become Reality

The First Synthetic Embryos Become Reality
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The human body is arguably the most complex structure that’s known in the Universe. Even the human cell is more complex than we can imagine, as it holds around 42 million protein molecules. There are trillions of cells in the body of each one of us. 

Therefore, trying to imagine the level of complexity of an embryo is mind-boggling! Who would have ever thought that it’s possible for humanity to create a synthetic version of an embryo? But it seems that science is once again there to amaze us.

The world’s first synthetic embryos don’t need eggs or fertilization

According to The Guardian, scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel found a way of using stem cells from mice in order to create embryo-like structures that don’t even require the role that sperm, fertilization, or eggs normally have. The synthetic embryos have a brain and a beating heart in undeveloped forms and also an intestinal tract.

Dr. James Briscoe from the Francis Crick Institute in London, explained as The Guardian quotes:

Synthetic human embryos are not an immediate prospect. We know less about human embryos than mouse embryos and the inefficiency of the mouse synthetic embryos suggests that translating the findings to human requires further development,

Now is a good time to consider the best legal and ethical framework to regulate research and use of human synthetic embryos and to update the current regulations.

Prof Jacob Hanna, leader of the new discovery, explained as the same source quotes:

Remarkably, we show that embryonic stem cells generate whole synthetic embryos, meaning this includes the placenta and yolk sac surrounding the embryo.

Scientists are now hoping that their findings could lead to more options when it comes to human transplantation.

The new discovery was published in Cell.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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