Synthetic Human Embryos Created In Groundbreaking Advance
16 Jun 2023 • Scientists have created synthetic human embryos using stem cells, in a groundbreaking advance that sidesteps the need for eggs or sperm. A team of researchers in the United States and United Kingdom say they have created the world’s first synthetic human embryo-like structures from stem cells, bypassing the need for eggs and sperm.
Scientists say these model embryos, which resemble those in the earliest stages of human development, could provide a crucial window on the impact of genetic disorders and the biological causes of recurrent miscarriages. The research raises critical legal and ethical questions, and many countries, including the US, don’t have laws governing the creation or treatment of synthetic embryos.
There is no near-term prospect of the synthetic embryos being used clinically. It would be illegal to implant them into a patient’s womb, and it is not yet clear whether these structures have the potential to continue maturing beyond the earliest stages of development.
The motivation for the work is for scientists to understand the “black box” period of development that is so called because scientists are only allowed to cultivate embryos in the lab up to a legal limit of 14 days. There is also a significant unanswered question on whether these structures, in theory, have the potential to grow into a living creature.
Source: The Guardian | Read full story