October 6, 2022

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Badacze z University of Cambridge i California Institute of Technology, pod kierunkiem polskiej biolog, prof. Magdaleny Żernickiej-Goetz stworzyli z komórek macierzystych sztuczne mysie embriony, u których rozwinęły się mózgi i bijące serca. Pisze o tym w najnowszym numerze czasopismo "Nature". To dalszy ciąg prowadzonych od ponad dekady prac zmierzających do zrozumienia przyczyn, dla których niektóre embriony nie są w stanie zdrowo rozwinąć się do fazy płodowej. Są nadzieje, że te badania pomogą też w rozwoju technik tworzenia organów na zamówienie.

Artificial fetus with a beating heart and brain

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Caltech, under the direction of a Polish biologist, Prof. Magdalena Żernicka-Goetz has created artificial mouse embryos from stem cells, into which they develop beating brains and hearts. This was reported in the latest issue of “Nature” magazine. This is a continuation of more than a decade of work aimed at understanding the reasons why some fetuses are unable to develop healthily to the fetal stage. It is hoped that this research will also assist in the development of custom organ-making techniques.

embryos Created without proliferative cells. In the laboratory headed by A. Żernicka-Goetz uses three types of stem cells, that is, those that can develop into different tissues of the body. Scientists modified the activity of certain genes and created conditions that allowed these cells to interact and “match” with each other. Stem cells created structures that went through successive stages of development until the embryos The beginnings of their brains and beating hearts appeared, as well as the yolk sacs that provided them nourishment for the first few weeks. This is the most advanced stage of artificial embryonic stem cells ever achieved by science.

A Polish woman from Cambridge built an artificial mouse embryo

The authors of the study consider the success in the formation of the brain, especially its frontal region, as the most important achievement. This opens up new possibilities for studying the mechanism of nervous tissue development. We have shown that turning off a gene that we know is critical to the development of this tissue causes u artificial embryos Similar disorders as in animals carrying such a mutation – Professor says. Chernika Goetz. This opens the way for the study of many other genes, the effect of which on neurogenesis is unknown. Our mouse embryo model contains not only a brain, but also a beating heart, which are vital parts of the body. Żernicka-Goetz adds. It’s unbelievable that we were able to get there. Our community has been dreaming of it for years, we’ve been working on it for a decade, and we’ve finally made it happen.

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he was human fetus For it to be properly formed, it is necessary that the tissues that make up his body interact with those that will connect him to his mother. In the first week after that Imagine Three groups of cells are formed. They are the cells that make up the body fetusIt is the cells that produce the yolk sac that provides it with the environment for growth and nourishment, and finally the cells that develop the placenta that connects it to the mother’s body, providing respiration and nourishment. Research shows that many pregnancies end at a time when these tissues must begin exchanging mechanical and chemical signals. This early period is the basis of everything that happens during pregnancy. If something goes wrong, pregnancy won’t work – confirms the first author of the work. To make or to invent artificial fetus The researchers allowed three groups of stem cells to develop, each of which performed one of these key tasks.

as a professor. Żernicka-Goetz, who came to Great Britain in 1990, after studying at the University of Warsaw, and recently also worked in California, the team’s years of work have been aimed at creating conditions for research in these early stages of pregnancy in order to identify the causes. from failure. Create Artificial embryo made from stem cells It gives us access to developing structures that we would normally not be able to access due to implantation in the mother’s body. This allows us to manipulate genes so that we can understand their role in developmental processes – adds the Polish researcher. This period of human life is so mysterious that the possibility of observing and influencing individual groups of cells in the laboratory, and knowing what they can fail, is special – Żernicka-Goetz adds.

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The authors of the work are preparing to create a similar model based on human stem cells in order to be able to study mechanisms that would otherwise not be observed in the case of embryos. They hope that the eventual success will also help in the future development of organ transplant.

Viable artificial embryo is approaching