The creation of artificial embryos has moved a step forward after an international team of researchers used mouse stem cells to produce artificial embryo-like structures capable of ‘gastrulation’, a key step in the life of any embryo.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have managed to create a structure resembling a mouse embryo in culture, using two types of stem cells – the body’s ‘master cells’ – and a 3D scaffold on which they can grow.
Cambridge research that will enable scientists to grow and study embryos in the lab for almost two weeks has been named as the People’s Choice for Science magazine’s ‘Breakthrough of the Year 2016’
A new technique that allows embryos to develop in vitro beyond the implantation stage (when the embryo would normally implant into the womb) has been developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge allowing them to analyse for the first time key stages of human embryo development up to 13 days after fertilisation. The technique could open up new avenues of research aimed at helping improve the chances of success of IVF.
Abnormal cells in the early embryo are not necessarily a sign that a baby will be born with a birth defect such as Down’s syndrome, suggests new research carried out in mice at the University of Cambridge. In a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, scientists show that abnormal cells are eliminated and replaced by healthy cells, repairing – and in some cases completely fixing – the embryo.
Genetic ‘signatures’ of early-stage embryos confirm that our development begins to take shape as early as the second day after conception, when we are a mere four cells in size, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge and EMBL-EBI. Although they seem to be identical, the cells of the two day-old embryo are already beginning to display subtle differences.
The journey from a single fertilised egg cell through to a baby delivered crying into the arms of its mother is one of the most beautiful and complex processes to occur in nature. We are only just beginning to understand the very earliest stages of life – when we are nothing more than a cluster of cells.
We know much about how embryos develop, but one key stage – implantation – has remained a mystery. Now, scientists from Cambridge have discovered a way to study and film this ‘black box’ of development.