Tags: human | embryo | breakthrough

Human Embryo Breakthrough Helps Them Live Up to Two Weeks Outside Womb

Image: Human Embryo Breakthrough Helps Them Live Up to Two Weeks Outside Womb
(Twitter‏/@Cambridge_Uni)

By    |   Thursday, 05 May 2016 12:54 PM

Scientists at Cambridge University have reached a breakthrough in human embryo research, growing an embryo outside of a mother for almost two weeks.

According to research published Wednesday in Nature and Nature Cell Biology, the embryo test was almost twice as long as previous experiments, allowing scientists to closely observe phases of development that were previously difficult to study, Reuters reported.

"This it the most enigmatic and mysterious stage of human development. It is a time when the basic body shape is determined," said Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, a University of Cambridge professor who co-led the work.

Among other things, the new method will allow scientists to gain expertise to improve in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments and regenerative medicine.

It also may lead to a review of an international law banning scientists from developing human embryos beyond 14 days.

According to The Telegraph, the scientists reached the milestone by creating "a thick soup of nutrients which mimics conditions in the womb."

The embryo typically implants in the womb at about seven days, and scientists previously haven't been able to keep an embryo alive past that time. In the new study, research was stopped before the 14-day limit was reached. The 14-day mark was "deemed to be the point at which 'individuality' is assigned as twins do not develop after this point," The Independent reported.

“Implantation is a milestone in human development as it is from this stage onwards that the embryo really begins to take shape and the overall body plan is decided," Zernicka-Goetz said.

“It is also the stage of pregnancy at which many developmental defects can become acquired. But until now, it has been impossible to study this in human embryos. This new technique provides us with a unique opportunity to get a deeper understanding of our own development during these crucial stages and help us understand what happens, for example, during miscarriage.”

Extending the legal limit by a few days would allow scientists to study the gastrulation process in development, Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, a leading geneticist and stem cell expert told The Independent, adding that the debate "is not a question to be left to scientists alone."

Professor David Jones, director of the Roman Catholic Anscombe Bioethics Centre, opposes any research on human embryos and argued that such concessions could be the first step toward growing babies outside the womb altogether.

"Human life and human pregnancy should not be separated in this way. On a technical level it is a scientific breakthrough but it is also a further step away from humane and ethical science and a further step towards an increasingly inhuman future," he told The Independent.

Related Stories:

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Scientists at Cambridge University have reached a breakthrough in human embryo research, growing an embryo outside of a mother for almost two weeks.
human, embryo, breakthrough
461
2016-54-05
Thursday, 05 May 2016 12:54 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved