Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The results, described in the paper at temper nature Today, it can help scientists learn more about how human embryos develop and provide insights into diseases, as well as provide an alternative to animals for testing.

The new model embryos, bypassing the need for sperm or egg cells, were developed in the laboratory alongside normal mouse embryos. They reversed the same stages of development until eight and a half days after fertilization, and developed beating hearts and the foundations of other organs, including neural tubes that eventually go to the brain and spinal cord.

“I think it’s a huge advance,” says Leonardo Beccari of the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology in Madrid, who was not involved in the research.

Studying how mouse stem cells interact at this point in development could also provide insight into why human pregnancy fails during the early stages, and how to prevent this from happening.

“This is the first demonstration of the forebrain in any models of embryonic development, and this has been the holy grail of the field,” says David Glover, professor of biology and biological engineering at Caltech and one of the report’s authors.

Stem cells can develop into specialized cells, including muscle, brain, or blood cells. The artificial embryos are made of three types of cells taken from mice: the embryonic stem cells that make up the body; trophoblast stem cells, which develop into the placenta; and endoderm stem cells outside the embryo, which help form the ovum sac.

The embryos were developed in an artificial incubator created by Jacob Hanna of the Weizmann Institute in Israel, which recently kept realistic looking mouse embryos It grows in a mechanical womb for several days until the beating hearts, blood flow, and cranial folds develop. Hanna is also a co-author of the new study.

By mimicking the natural processes of how a mouse fetus forms inside the womb, the researchers were able to instruct cells to interact with each other, causing them to self-organize into structures that evolved during developmental stages to the point where they struck. Hearts and foundations for the whole brain.

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