In a major breakthrough in the history of medical science, a team of scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom created the world’s first synthetic human embryo-like structures. They have termed them as embryo models.
These embryo models generated from stem cells are similar to early-stage human embryos in the womb. This brings in speculations that this may be the first step towards developing human embryos without the conjugation of sperm and ovum.
This scientific achievement was published in the preprint server bioRxiv.
The team of researchers of this major breakthrough was led by Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz from the University of Cambridge. The team however has made it clear that these are not actual synthetic embryos but rather embryo models and their focus is not to create life, but to save it.
These embryo models will help in research for the eradication of genetic diseases as well as miscarriage during pregnancy.
It is yet not sure whether these embryo models can be implanted in the uterus. It is also not confirmed whether they can survive the earliest stages of development.
Magdalena’s team had previously succeeded in growing a synthetic embryo of a mouse without the use of male sperm and a female womb. They were able to develop the embryo with a functioning brain, a beating heart, and vital organs.