Artificial placentas could transform research into miscarriages, still births and other pregnancy disorders

artificial

Scientists have grown “mini placentas” in a breakthrough that could transform research into the underlying causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and other pregnancy disorders.

The tiny organoids mimic the placenta in the early stages of the first trimester and will be used to understand how the tissue develops in healthy pregnancies, and what goes wrong when it fails.

The mini placentas are so much like the real thing they can fool over-the-counter pregnancy tests. “If we put a pregnancy stick into the medium from the organoids it reads ‘pregnant’,” said Ashley Moffett, a senior researcher on the team and professor of reproductive immunology at Cambridge University.

The Cambridge team grew the organoids in their laboratory using cells from frond-like structures called villi which are found in placental tissue. The cells organised themselves into multi-cellular structures capable of secreting the proteins and hormones that affect the metabolism of the mother during pregnancy.

Related article:  Viewpoint: How anti-GMO activist-journalist Carey Gillam primes the glyphosate litigation pump

The organoids range in size from a tenth of a millimetre to half a millimetre. They can be frozen and stored and then thawed out when needed.

Other work will investigate the hormones and proteins secreted by the organoids as they grow, with a view to identifying substances that could provide an early warning that the placenta is not working properly. “These women could be followed more closely,” said Moffett. Details of the research are published in Nature.

Read full, original post: Lab-grown placentas ‘will transform pregnancy research’

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend