The world’s first ‘synthetic embryos’

Scientists create the world’s first ‘synthetic embryos’ using mice stem cells.

The process involved mimicking the chemical signals that the body sends to the cells, turning stem cells into artificial organs in a dish.  While most synthetic embryos died early in the process, a few managed to grow about half of the gestational time for a mouse.  At that point, they were very similar to normal mouse embryos, growing placenta and the beginnings of a spine, brain, digestive tract, and beating heart.  

While the embryos are “not real” and don’t have the potential to develop into live animals, they could be beneficial for research without relying on lab animals.  It could also be a starting point for growing organs from scratch.  Developing human embryos this way might even be possible, but much research needs to be done.

What are your thoughts on this new development?  

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