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Israeli Scientists Created the World's First 'Artificial Embryo'


Scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel have found that stem cells from mice can be combined to form structures similar to the initial shape of an embryo. That embryo will have everything from the intestinal tract to the rudiments of the brain and heartbeat.

In the study, some cells were treated with chemicals, which turned on the genetic program to become the placenta or yolk sac. Studies have shown that this embryo develops without other organs and tissues.

Studies have shown that most stem cells fail to form embryo-like structures. However, only about 0.5 percent of the stem cells combine to contain the small force factor. Individual tissues and organs develop from that ball, the researchers said.


The artificial embryos are 95 percent similar to natural mouse embryos in terms of internal structure and genetic profile of cells.

It is called an artificial embryo because the embryo is created without a fertilized egg. Further research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of how organs and tissues form during natural fetal development, the researchers said.

The researchers believe that this research can reduce the rate of animal testing. In addition, this research will open new avenues for human cell and tissue transplantation. For example, it can be used to treat leukemia patients by converting skin cells into bone marrow stem cells.

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Earlier last year, the same team of researchers developed a mechanical womb. Whereas naturally fertilized mouse embryos were growing outside the uterus for several days.

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