Artificial Embryos

Artificial Embryos

n 2017 at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, embryologists were able to create a realistic mouse embryo using only stem cells. The cells were placed in scaffolding and researchers watched as they began communicating and formed into the semblance of an embryonic mouse. This left open the possibility of one day creating a fully-functional mammal embryo.

Today, work continues at Rockefeller University and the University of Michigan with the goal of ultimately making human embryos from stem cells. If successful, this would allow researchers to get a much better understanding of early developmental stages while also investigating the effects of gene editing. Such studies could open a new world of medical breakthroughs. Of course, as this technology advances, several bioethical questions that need addressing will be raised, including the question of when the embryo begins to feel pain.

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