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Scientists Grow Human Embryo Models from Stem Cells: A Breakthrough in Early Pregnancy Research

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Scientists Grow Human Embryo Model without Sperm, Eggs, or Uterus

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have successfully grown a nearly complete model of a human embryo using stem cells, without the need for sperm, eggs, or a uterus. This breakthrough, published in the journal Nature, builds on previous research conducted on mice embryos.

Promising Results

The developed model closely resembles a 14-day-old human embryo, complete with essential components like the placenta, yolk sac, and external tissues. In fact, the hormone produced by this artificial fetus is sufficient to yield a positive pregnancy test result. The aim of this research is to ethically study the early stages of pregnancy, providing insights into miscarriages and birth defects.

Understanding Early Stages of Pregnancy

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Embryos at these early stages are challenging to study due to ethical and technical limitations. This human embryo model offers a cost-effective and ethical solution to investigate the development of a real human embryo, shedding light on the mysterious concept of fetal origin.

Reprogramming Stem Cells

The Israeli scientists utilized a method developed by Professor Yaakov Hanna to reprogram pluripotent stem cells into a state known as the naive state. By reverting these cells to an earlier state, they regained the ability to develop into any type of tissue in the body.

Potential Applications

This breakthrough has the potential to identify the causes of birth defects and infertility, develop techniques for growing tissues and organs for transplantation, and revolutionize the field of medicine. However, it is important to note that the model embryo cannot be successfully implanted into the uterine lining, meaning real pregnancies cannot be created using this method. Instead, the model may be used to generate organs for transplantation using patients’ own skin cells.

Source: Daily Mail

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