Researchers Use Lab-Grown Embryo Models to Study Early Human Development

Researchers use lab-grown embryoids to study early human development, uncover insights into miscarriages and genetic disorders, paving the way for improved prevention and treatment strategies.

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Nitish Verma
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Researchers Use Lab-Grown Embryo Models to Study Early Human Development

Researchers Use Lab-Grown Embryo Models to Study Early Human Development

Markus Hengstschläger's team at Med Uni Wien is using embryoids, lab-grown embryo models, to study early human development and investigate the causes of miscarriages and genetic diseases. The researchers have discovered that embryos produce a membrane that is essential for cell arrangement and shape, providing new insights into the early stages of human development.

The embryoids are developed using lab-grown embryonic stem cells, without the use of sperm, egg, or fertilization. These models resemble early human embryos and could help uncover secrets about the precarious early stages of pregnancy, when failure is most common. The models include a yolk sac and amniotic cavity, making them more similar to real human embryos and potentially more useful for research into conditions like miscarriage, birth defects, and infertility. "These models resemble early human embryos and could help uncover secrets about the precarious early stages of pregnancy, when failure is most common," according to the researchers.

Why this matters: This research provides important insights into the early stages of human development and could lead to a better understanding of conditions like miscarriages and genetic disorders. The use of embryoids as models for studying early human development has the potential to advance our knowledge of the causes of these conditions and may ultimately lead to improved prevention and treatment strategies.

While the models are not identical to in-utero embryos, they represent an impressive advance in the field and highlight the need for a robust regulatory framework to govern this type of research, which raises ethical concerns. The research was published in the journal Nature and was welcomed by some scientists as a step towards understanding a critical period of human development that has been difficult to study.

Hengstschläger's team's discovery of the vital role of the embryo-produced membrane in cell arrangement and shape provides valuable insights into the early stages of human development. "This research provides new insights into early human development and could lead to a better understanding of the causes of miscarriages and genetic diseases," stated the researchers. The use of embryoids as models for studying early human development represents a significant advancement in the field, and the findings from this study contribute to our understanding of the complex processes involved in the formation of human life.

Key Takeaways

  • Researchers use lab-grown embryoids to study early human development.
  • Embryoids reveal a membrane essential for cell arrangement and shape.
  • Embryoids could help uncover secrets about early pregnancy stages.
  • Research provides insights into causes of miscarriages and genetic disorders.
  • Embryoids represent an advance, but raise ethical concerns requiring regulation.