Israeli Scientists Grow Mouse Embryos

“Israeli scientists have grown 250-cell embryos into mouse fetuses with fully formed organs using artificial wombs, in a development they say could pave the way for gestating humans outside the womb. ‘We have grown hundreds of mice in this way, in a method that has taken seven years to develop, and I’m still captivated every time I see it,’ stem cell biologist Prof. Jacob Hanna of the Weizmann Institute of Science told The Times of Israel. ‘This could be relevant to other mammals including humans, though we acknowledge that there are ethical issues related to growing humans outside the body,’ he said. Hanna said that his research will advance understanding of organ formation in mammals–and could facilitate medical advances–as it allows unprecedented views of the process unfolding, unconstrained by the need to image the inside of the uterus. ‘We took mouse embryos from the mother at day five of development, when they are just of 250 cells, and had them in the incubator from day five until day 11, by which point they had grown all their organs. By day 11 they make their own blood and have a beating heart, a fully developed brain.’ The fetuses were healthy but died at 11 days, as this is currently the longest they can develop in the artificial womb and they can’t be transplanted back into a mice uterus. But Hanna hopes to develop his technology to take mice to full term.”

“In breakthrough, Israelis grow mouse embryos,” The Times of Israel, Mar. 17, 2021