For the first time in the history of medical research, two teams of scientists have successfully grown a human embryo for 13 days. This creates a technology that mimics the function of a woman’s womb.
Breakthrough studies from the University of Cambridge in England and Rockefeller University in New York, could soon convince the research community of the need to raise the first 14-day window period given to researchers who are pursuing a scientific research with human embryos.
The studies from two universities, whose results were separately published in the journals of Nature and Nature Cell Biology, were the first generation of researches that provided science-based evidence that a human embryo could survive in a laboratory setting, beyond the crucial seven-day period.
Before these studies have been published, it has been established that it’s impossible for a human embryo to survive without being attached to a woman’s womb, where it receives nutrients for its sustenance.
But by mimicking the mechanism of the chemicals that take part in this crucial stage of the embryonic development, the researchers have successfully grown the human embryo outside of a woman’s womb up to 13 days, for the first time in human history.
“That was a big eureka moment in the lab. All the information necessary and sufficient to have the embryo move forward is already contained within those handful of cells. That was a very big surprise to us and to the field,” ” Ali Brinvalou, an embryologist at Rockefeller University, was quoted as saying by NPR.
Both researches, though have obvious contribution to the medical field, were seen to stir the entire field as well for its ethical consideration.