New device mass-produces ‘primitive’ human embryos for research

| | September 26, 2019
ap c s x
Image: AP Photo/Paul Sancya
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Scientists have invented a device that can quickly produce large numbers of living entities that resemble very primitive human embryos.

Researchers welcomed the development, described [September 11] in the journal Nature, as an important advance for studying the earliest days of human embryonic development.

“Such human embryo-like structures have a lot of potential to open what we call the so-called black box of human development,” Fu says.

He’s referring to the first few weeks after a sperm fertilizes an egg, when the embryo is inside a woman’s body and hard to study. A long-standing guideline bars scientists from conducting research on embryos in their labs beyond 14 days of development for ethical reasons.

Related article:  ‘Neither animal nor plant’: Smart, brainless ‘blob’ gets home at Paris zoo

Fu says the ability to produce large numbers of embryoids, which are not subject to the 14-day guideline, will hopefully provide scientists with new insights into important health issues, including how to prevent birth defects and miscarriages. In addition, researchers could use the embryoids to screen drugs, to help determine whether the medications are safe for pregnant women to take.

“Such research can lead to a lot of good,” Fu says.

Read full, original post: Scientists Create A Device That Can Mass-Produce Human Embryoids

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
sperm swim

Video: Sperm are ‘spinners not swimmers’—because they are lopsided

Research by fertility scientists in the UK and Mexico challenges the accepted view of how sperm “swim”, suggesting that it ...
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 ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend