Scientists grow human embryo in the lab WITHOUT sperm, egg or a womb | The Sun

SCIENTISTS have created a synthetic human embryo that can survive outside the womb using stem cells.

The “embryo model” was made in a lab without the need for sperm or eggs and behaves like the real deal after two weeks, Israeli scientists said.

It made a pregnancy test turn positive because it released the same hormones as a human embryo, they found.

The researchers said the landmark discovery could help aid breakthrough research on early development of embryos, which are not normally studied for legal and ethical reasons.

Professor Jacob Hanna, of the Weizmann Institute of Science, said: “The drama is in the first month, the remaining eight months of pregnancy are mainly lots of growth.

“But that first month is still largely a black box. Our stem cell–derived human embryo model offers an ethical and accessible way of peering into this box. 

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“It closely mimics the development of a real human embryo, particularly the emergence of its exquisitely fine architecture.”

Research on real human embryos is not currently legal in the UK.

Professor Hanna and a rival group at the University of Cambridge had previously shown embryo models could be made from mouse stem cells.

The Cambridge researchers in June announced they had created a 14-day embryo model from human stem cells in June.

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But the latest discovery is the first to be peer-reviewed and was published in the medical journal Nature.

Researchers hope the model can help lead to discoveries that help successful pregnancies in future.

Professor Hanna said: “Many failures of pregnancy occur in the first few weeks, often before the woman even knows she’s pregnant.

“That’s also when many birth defects originate, even though they tend to be discovered much later. 

“Our models can be used to reveal the biochemical signals that ensure proper development at this early stage, and the ways in which that development can go wrong.”

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