Researchers have succeeded in developing embryos without an egg or sperm

In Texas, researchers have succeeded in developing mouse embryos derived from stem cells. The problem? They are not numerous and present malformations.

Baby mice with ear cells are the only relationship: researchers from the Southwest Medical Center at the University of Texas, as published in the journal Cell. Jun Wu and his team of biologists have in fact reprogrammed adult lab mouse ear cells to transform them into specific stem cells. These "pluripotent" stem cells are able to differentiate into any type of cell in the living organism from which they originate. In this case, using nutrients and growth hormones, Texas scientists exploited them to transform them into embryonic cells. They are the first to develop artificial embryos derived solely from stem cells and not from any fertilization between a spermatozoon and an egg. However, their results are not as successful as they are unpublished.

Once the embryos were formed, Jun Wu and his colleagues transferred them to the uterus of female mice. They then waited, on the one hand, that they fix themselves there correctly and, on the other hand, that they grow there. Biologists have finally interrupted the gestation of the few fixed embryos - only 7% in total - at about mid-term (ie one week, over the 20 days necessary for the growth of a baby mouse). Despite the presence of signs of growth in good condition, they observed in each of them major malformations. "The tissue structure and organization was not as good as in normally formed embryos ," Jun Wu told New Scientist .But our experience was not about the birth of viable babies. (...) Testing the growth of artificial embryos opens the way for more studies on fertility problems, for example. "


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