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World’s First Synthetic Embryo

A new model that employs stem cells could pave the way for lab-grown organs for transplantation.

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According to a recent SciTechDaily article, scientists have developed a synthetic embryo model without sperm, an egg, or womb. The study, published August 1st in the journal Cell, focused on embryo models of mice started solely with stem cells cultured in a petri dish. A team of researchers at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel believe the method could one day be used to grow tissues and organs for transplantation.

In 2012, the process of restoring mature cells to stem cells won the Nobel Prize. This process actually moves in the opposite direction, making stem cells differentiate into specialized body cells and eventually organs. “The embryo is the best organ-making machine and the best 3D bioprinter–we tried to emulate what it does,” noted Professor Jacob Hannah who led the research team. A video with more information can be seen here

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