‘Opening a window’ for new studies
Commenting on the announcement, Dr James Briscoe, assistant research director at the Francis Crick Institute in London, said: “The important thing about this research is that it is a step towards opening a window on the period of human development where many pregnancies fail and which has been really difficult to study up until now.”
However, experts said that producing artificial embryos raised “profound ethical and legal questions” and said new regulations and guidelines for how they could be used needed to be in place.
Professor Darius Widera, professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, University of Reading, England, said that in contrast to similar studies published earlier this year, these embryo-like structures contained most of the cell types found in developing embryos and exhibited a high degree of organisation, mirroring what is typically observed in early human embryos during normal development.
“This research and other recent reports on models of the early human embryo show that models of human embryos are getting more sophisticated and closer to events that occur during normal development, highlighting that a robust regulatory framework is more needed than ever before.”
The Telegraph, London