Stems Cells Ushered into Embryonic Development

The right mix of mouse embryonic stem cells in a dish will start forming early embryonic patterns, according to two studies.

By | November 7, 2014

WIKIMEDIA, NSFAlthough embryonic stem cells can form any tissue type in vitro, they have always given researchers trouble when it came to developing a properly organized embryo. Alfonso Martinez-Arias at Cambridge University and colleagues reported in the November issue of Development that if aggregated in the right numbers—roughly 300— embryonic stem cells will begin to arrange themselves in patterns that mimic early embryonic development.

“Much to our surprise, after three days in culture they begin a series [of] movements that resemble those that organize the embryo and acquire coordinates and, as in the embryo, the seeds of the different tissues,” Martinez-Arias told Motherboard in an e-mail.

According to a statement, the researchers could then direct cell fate. “In one of the experiments, for example, activation of a particular signal at the correct time elicits the appearance of the mesoderm, endoderm and ectoderm—the precursors of all cell types—with a spatial organization similar to that of an embryo.”  

In a second paper in Development, the researchers used their experimental design to explore the development of the neuromesodermal precursor, which will go on to form the spinal cord.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
  2. Two Dozen House Republicans Do an About-Face on Tuition Tax
  3. 2017 Top 10 Innovations
    Features 2017 Top 10 Innovations

    From single-cell analysis to whole-genome sequencing, this year’s best new products shine on many levels.

  4. The Biggest DNA Origami Structures Yet
    Daily News The Biggest DNA Origami Structures Yet

    Three new strategies for using DNA to generate large, self-assembling shapes create everything from a nanoscale teddy bear to a nanoscale Mona Lisa.