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Aug 25, 2022

‘Synthetic’ mouse embryo with brain and beating heart grown from stem cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Caltech have created model mouse embryos from stem cells—the body’s master cells, which can develop into almost any cell type in the body—that have beating hearts, as well as the foundations for a brain and all of the other organs in the mouse body.

The results are the culmination of more than a decade of research, and they could help researchers understand why some embryos fail while others go on to develop into a fetus as part of a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, the results could be used to guide repair and development of synthetic human organs for transplantation.

The research was conducted in the laboratory of Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Bren Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech. Zernicka-Goetz is also a professor of mammalian development and in Cambridge’s Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. A paper describing the breakthrough appears in the journal Nature on August 25.

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