Scientists Make Major Breakthrough Using Stem Cells to Create Synthetic Human Embryos | Tech News

Scientists create synthetic human embryos using stem cells in a major scientific breakthrough

Experts believe the development offers insight into the causes of miscarriage and unique aspects of human development, but also raises ethical and legal questions.

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz from the University of Cambridge and Caltech described growing embryos to a stage just beyond 14 days of natural embryonic development at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Boston. Wednesday.

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

Whether the synthetic model would develop into a viable embryo if implanted is unknown.

Details have not yet been published in a journal paper, The Guardian said.

read more: Human cells grown in monkey embryos raise ethical questions about ‘Pandora’s box’

Professor James Briscoe, Associate Director of Research at the Francis Crick Institute, said it was impossible to comment on the scientific significance in detail without a peer-reviewed paper, but the development had “great potential”.

“They can provide fundamental insights into key stages of human development,” he said.

“These phases are difficult to study and are the period in which many pregnancies fail.

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

However, Professor Briscoe said this raised “deep” ethical and legal questions.

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

“Unlike human embryos produced by in vitro fertilization, where there is an established legal framework, there are currently no clear regulations governing stem cell-derived models of human embryos.

“Regulations are urgently needed to provide a framework for the creation and use of stem cell-derived human embryo models.”

He said it was important that studies and researchers were conducted “carefully, cautiously and transparently”.

“The danger is that mistakes or unreasonable claims can have a chilling effect on the public and policymakers,” he said.

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

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