Abstract

Studying embryos is important to understanding how humans develop. It can also help us understand some pregnancy complications. But access to embryos is very limited. We wanted to find a way to study embryos without actually needing any! We used stem cells to grow models of blastocysts – young embryos. Our experiments showed that stem cells can form structures that look like blastocysts. We called these models blastoids. 

Blastoids grow and develop at a similar speed as blastocysts. They also have the same size and cell composition. They are not embryos and cannot develop into an organism. But blastoids are a useful way to study human development.

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About this article

Summary of research
Scientists used stem cells to grow 3D models of blastocysts to be able to study the development of embryos.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
March 2022

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