Scientists Make Big Breakthrough Synthetic Human Embryos Using Stem Cells | Science and technology news


In a major scientific breakthrough, scientists have created synthetic human embryos using stem cells

Experts believe the development could provide insights into the causes of miscarriage and unique aspects of human development, but it also raises ethical and legal questions.

Speaking at the International Society for Stem Cell Research annual meeting in Boston, Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz from the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology described the nurturing of embryos to a stage just over the equivalent 14 days of development of a natural one Embryos is Wednesday.

The structures do not require eggs or sperm, have a beating heart or the beginnings of a brain, but instead contain cells that would typically develop into the placenta, yolk sac and embryo itself, according to the Guardian.

It remains unclear whether the synthetic models could develop into viable embryos upon implantation.

The details have yet to be published in a specialist article, The Guardian said.

Continue reading: Human cells grown in monkey embryos raise ethical concerns about Pandora’s box

Professor James Briscoe, associate director of research at the Francis Crick Institute, said it is impossible to go into detail about the scientific significance without a peer-reviewed paper, but the development has “a lot of potential”.

“They could provide fundamental insights into critical periods of human development,” he said.

“These are stages that are very difficult to study and it is a time when many pregnancies fail.”

“New insights could lead to a better understanding of the causes of miscarriage and the unique aspects of human development.”

But Prof Briscoe said it raises “profound” ethical and legal questions.

Read more: Scientists create synthetic mouse embryos that develop into a brain, nerve cord and beating heart tissue

“Unlike human embryos derived from in vitro fertilization, for which there is an established legal framework, there are currently no clear regulations for human embryo stem cell-derived models.

“There is an urgent need for regulations that provide a framework for the creation and use of stem cell-derived models of human embryos.”

He said it was important for research and researchers to be “prudent, diligent and transparent”.

“The danger is that missteps or unjustified claims will have a chilling effect on the public and policymakers,” he said.

“That would be a major setback for the field.”

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