In a world 1st, Israeli scientists have developed “ synthetic embryos” without needing sperm or egg cellular material, having taken only stem cells from the skin associated with mice.
The breakthrough experiment, the final results of which were published recently in the peer-review journal Cellular, saw the stem cells taken from mice “ self-assemble ” directly into an embryo-like structure by having an intestinal tract, brain and even a beating heart.
According to cell biologist Teacher Jacob Hanna of the Weizmann Institute of Science, the outcomes were truly a “ remarkable ” result. “ There was no sperm, no egg with no uterus, but we managed to get embryos formed from stem cells alone to eight days – a third of the gestation period of a computer mouse – with a beating coronary heart , ” he informed Times of Israel.
He said this is the first time such an advanced animal embryo has been grown only from stem cells.
Hanna told the days that the study could pave the way for growing synthetic embryo-like structures that would be used in medicine, including for developing human organs for transplant. “ The embryo is the best organ-making machine and the best 3D bioprinter; we tried to emulate what it does , ” he described.
Using human being embryos as a source of stem cells to grow transplant internal organs has raised ethical issues, but the new research offers a potential way to get around that will issue, the research team feels, since the synthetic embryo-like constructions are similar to regular embryos but not viable for implantation.
The scientists was able to cultivate an embryo using a special incubator system. In the mechanism, each embryo bathes in a bottle filled with water which is spinning so that the patient does not stick to the side. The particular incubator provides the embryo using necessary conditions for growth, including the needed gas concentration, pressure and temperature, while the liquid serves as a nutritional solution.
The brand new experiment builds on two prior successes that researchers achieved in previous years. Hanna’s team, in particular, got developed a method for reprogramming stem cells back to their particular earliest stages of advancement, when they have the greatest possible to take different roles. Researchers have also created a device that allowed them to grow organic mouse embryos outside the tummy.
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