"Its muscles, blood vessels, intestines and nervous system are beginning to develop. But this embryo is unusual: it was made in the laboratory from mouse embryonic stem cells and is the most complex mammalian model ever created in a test tube," - quoted the publication of the University of Virginia agency Interfax.
The scientists managed to "instruct" the stem cell aggregates in such a way as to start embryonic development, while the tissues that will be built from the stem cells are already organized as they should be - around the notochord (the precursor of the spine).
This is not the first such experiment, but in previous times the embryos did not develop properly, were improperly organized, or suffered from other problems, but this time the artificially created mouse already has a notochord, the digestive tract begins to develop, and the heart beats. Also, for the first time in a test tube, the nervous system began to develop with the formation of a neural tube. Although the object grown by scientists is not yet a full-fledged mouse and cannot yet develop into it - for example, the front part of the brain is absent.
At the same time, scientists hope that experiments on growing organs with the necessary variety of tissues, vessels, and innervation will ultimately make it possible to overcome them for transplantation. Also, one of the authors of the experiment, cell biologist Bernard Tiess, says that with the help of the techniques they have developed, at some point it will be possible to manipulate the molecular signals that control the formation of embryos, which should lead to the creation of embryo-like formations containing already all tissues and organs, including the forebrain.
In April, a team of biologists from the United States, Spain and China created hybrid human-macaque embryos that survived for up to twenty days outside the body. Such embryos are called chimeric. The first interspecific rodent chimeras were created back in the 1970s, but it has not yet been possible to create viable hybrids with human cells.