Researchers have successfully fused human embryonic stem cells with a chicken embryo to create the world's first human chicken embryo by inventing a new technique that circumvents current ethical laws. But why?
( Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Molecular Embryology at Rockefeller University )
A group of scientists has successfully created a human-chicken embryo, a scientific achievement previously rendered impossible by strict ethical laws.
But by inventing a new technique for transplanting human embryonic stem cells into a chicken embryo, researchers from Rockefeller University of New York City have been able to create the world's first human-chicken hybrid that bypasses regulation.
The researchers believe that this could bring advances in human developmental medicine and pave the way for better methods of preventing birth defects and miscarriages [1
When a lump of cells ties together into an embryo, it decides its future fate with what scientists call organizer cells. These cells, which were first discovered in Salamander in 1924 and have since been observed in other animals, direct the formation of the animal. In other words, these cells are responsible for organizing the formation of limbs, organs, and other body parts.
So far scientists could not find organizer cells in humans. Governments around the world have imposed an ethical ban on experimenting with human embryos after their 14th day. This is about the time that Organizer cells appear in a natural pregnancy.
"Nobody knew what would happen after the ball of cells attached themselves to the uterus," says stem cell biologist and senior researcher Ali Brivanlou.
How A Human-Chicken Embryo Was Formed
By using human embryonic stem cells, Brivanlou and his team outwitted the 14-day ban and created a new structure similar to a human embryo. The team cultivated the stem cells, which could turn into specialized cells, on small squares that forced them to unite rather than move apart.
They also exposed the cells to two proteins, making them a similar layer of human embryo. Later tests showed that the cells expressed genes that were also found in the organizer cells of other animals.
The team proceeded to transplant the embryonic cells into a chicken embryo taken from the egg at the 12-hour mark to the 14-day point in human embryos. The result that followed was amazing.
Hello human-chicken hybrids
It's not easy to transplant human cells into other species. The team, for example, had previously tried and failed to create a human-mouse hybrid embryo. Their recent talent, however, shows that humans and birds may not be as evolutionarily different as previously thought
Once the human cells were transplanted, the organizer cells immediately began to conduct the embryo to complete a secondary spine and nervous system made from chicken cells. Brivanlou says this is a clear indication that human organizers exist.
"To my astonishment, the transplantation not only survived, but actually led to these beautifully organized structures," he says.
He also believes in the ability of human cells to organize new structures in a chicken more closely related to dinosaurs than humans, proving that the ability of animal cells to create their destiny is hundreds of millions of Years have survived.
What are the medical implications? 19659006] By understanding how stem cells can organize and generate different body parts, researchers may explore new avenues in regenerative medicine where stem cells are used to heal damaged tissue or even create new organs.
The study also provides a groundbreaking approach Look into the early stages of human development. By developing new insights into how cells shape and organize into body parts, scientists can develop new methods and techniques to prevent birth defects and miscarriages, as well as other diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
The study is published in Nature on May 23 .
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