Scientists develop the world’s first synthetic embryos without the use of sperm or eggs

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Scientists develop the world's first'synthetic

Scientists created the world’s first synthetic embryo from mouse stem cells, a scientific feat that could pave the way for the abolition of animal testing in medical research and the development of new treatments for patients.

The embryos created by scientists at Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science are referred to as “synthetic” because they were created without the use of an egg, sperm, or even a mouse’s uterus.

Scientists develop the world's first'synthetic' embryos

For eight days, mouse stem cells, which can develop into any organ or tissue, were grown in an artificial womb, where they developed a rudimentary brain, an intestinal tract, and a beating heart.

According to Scientists embryo stopped growing after eight days, which is equivalent to three months of pregnancy in a mouse.

The experiment is yet another success in the ongoing race to create embryos from human and mouse stem cells, which the scientists at Weizmann Institute believe could hold the key to understanding how organs develop in embryos and one day creating replacement organs for transplant recipients.

However, the study, which was published in the journal Cell on Monday, raises ethical concerns that make many people uncomfortable.

Have we stopped to consider boundaries as scientists’ ability to transform stem cells into human organs, and even embryos, becomes more sophisticated and successful, achieving goals that were once thought to be impossible?

Last year, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) attempted to answer this question by issuing new guidelines limiting the cultivation of human embryos in the laboratory to 14 days before the first signs of the nervous system appear. Following that,

However, while human embryos are regulated, synthetic human embryos are a novel prospect. Could a synthetic human embryo be implanted in a person’s womb one day?

The synthetic mouse embryos, despite resembling natural mouse embryos, could not be considered the same, according to Weizmann Institute scientists, and any attempt to implant them into a mouse’s womb did not result in pregnancy.

This implies that, for the time being, mice pups must still be created the old-fashioned way – egg, sperm, and all.

However, the study raises the possibility that one day, mice pups could be created from any mouse cell. What then prevents us from creating human embryos outside of the womb?

The researchers at the Weizmann Institute stated that their sole goal in conducting the experiment was to see if it was possible to create synthetic embryos capable of growing replacement organs for transplant recipients.

“Our goal is not to make pregnancy outside the uterus, whether in mice or any other species,” lead researcher Dr Jacob Hanna told the Washington Post.

“We’re having a lot of trouble making organs, and in order to do so, we need to figure out how the embryo does it. We began with this because the uterus is a black box — it is opaque “.

Renewal Bio, Hanna’s company, aims to grow human synthetic embryos that will provide tissues and cells for transplants and replacements.

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