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Wed Mar 17, 2021, 11:19 PM

In Australia, scientists have created a blastocyst (proto human embryo) from skin cells.



Scientists create model embryos in lab, raising major ethical questions

...

Professor Polo’s team was working with skin cells, manipulating their genetic instructions to turn them into stem cells – cells that, with a little prodding, can become any other type of cell.

But about 2 per cent of the cells were not behaving properly. Rather than turn into stem cells, they turned on a grab-bag of unexpected genes – the same ones an early embryo would turn on in the days after it is fertilised by a sperm.

Spread out on a flat Petri dish, these strange cells simply sat there. Wondering what the cells might do in close proximity to each other, Professor Polo’s team placed them in a small jar shaped like an upside-down pyramid, the cells squashing together at the bottom.

Five or six days later, Professor Polo’s team returned to the jars to discover the cells were no longer just sitting there. Instead, they had self-assembled into tiny balls. When they studied these balls, they discovered that inside each was a second, smaller ball – the primitive endoderm and embryonic stem cells that would, in a real embryo, eventually become a human.

Suddenly aware of what he had done, Professor Polo stopped the experiment. He contacted Monash University’s ethics board, as well as the federal government’s Embryo Research Licensing Committee.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/scientists-create-model-embryos-in-lab-raising-major-ethical-questions-20210317-p57bkc.html

EDIT: Compared to human embryos at a similar stage, the model embryos share many of the same cells. When tested against a standard IVF embryo-quality score, the model embryos were graded as “good”.

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Reply In Australia, scientists have created a blastocyst (proto human embryo) from skin cells. (Original post)
speak easy Mar 2021 OP
hlthe2b Mar 2021 #1
speak easy Mar 2021 #2
LuvLoogie Mar 2021 #3
speak easy Mar 2021 #4
brush Mar 2021 #5
speak easy Mar 2021 #7
Hugh_Lebowski Mar 2021 #6
speak easy Mar 2021 #8
Hugh_Lebowski Mar 2021 #9
speak easy Mar 2021 #10
Hugh_Lebowski Mar 2021 #11
speak easy Mar 2021 #12
dutch777 Mar 2021 #13
speak easy Mar 2021 #14

Response to speak easy (Original post)

Wed Mar 17, 2021, 11:22 PM

1. Fascinating...

But, I guess I'll never look at exfoliation quite the same.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 17, 2021, 11:28 PM

2. 'Just 14 days to a younger looking skin' ?

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Response to speak easy (Original post)

Wed Mar 17, 2021, 11:38 PM

3. Cheney and his doctors: "Been there. Done that."

I'm sure he has an entirely new set of organs.

Outlive the liberals...

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Response to LuvLoogie (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 12:00 AM

4. ...

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Response to speak easy (Original post)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 12:05 AM

5. Very slippery slope. It's not going to stop in petrie dishes.

And who's going to decide which sex and race of the babies?

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Response to brush (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 12:23 AM

7. Who makes the choice? The parent.

Skin cell blastocysts are clones of the adult.

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Response to speak easy (Original post)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 12:23 AM

6. That's freaking cool ... and I don't see any major ethical questions ... yet ...

I seriously doubt anyone just stumbled upon a way to make a human embryo from skin cells.

There may be some similarities but I'd bet a years salary you couldn't implant it in a uterus and make a new person.

I mean ... c'mon.

Though I think it would be badass if it did work. Wingnuts heads would explode, for one thing.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 12:28 AM

8. Maybe, maybe not ...

When tested against a standard IVF embryo-quality score, the model embryos were graded as “good”

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Response to speak easy (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 12:42 AM

9. That test is calibrated for a totally different scenario ... a normally fertilized embryo ...

Such a test wouldn't 'know what all to look for that might be wrong' because we don't know what all might be wrong with it i.e. that would prevent it from developing into a person.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 01:09 AM

10. What caught my attention is this -

the mere proximity of neighboring (identical) cells may initiate the process of embroyonic differentiation and development.

It has always been assumed there must be chemical messengers at initiation, but (so far) nothing so far.

The fact that a collection of (unremarkable) identical cells, would self organize into a blastocyst is hugely significant, whether that blastocyst is viable or not.

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Response to speak easy (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 01:23 AM

11. I think it's awesome ... but that is not yet reached the stage of a significant moral quandary :) nt

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 01:30 AM

12. I am not a nice person.

I wish the religious right the sort of significant moral quandaries that shocks their their brains.

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Response to speak easy (Original post)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 02:12 AM

13. Certainly ethical questions with this but to be really scared think about what CRISPR tech can do

The designers of the CRISPR gene editing technique released it as open source information. As with many academic researchers they wanted it to be shared due to all the good it could do. Unfortunately, there is also MUCH bad it can do in the hands of those with less than noble intent. I would be very surprised if scientists in Russia, China, North Korea and probably elsewhere aren't already working on human genes to develop super soldiers or some such thing in the human genome we really will regret.

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Response to dutch777 (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 18, 2021, 02:31 AM

14. I have no doubt there are already some humans 1.2's and 1.5s out there,

Dolly-The-Sheep was cloned 25 years ago - 1996.

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