Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Mousing Development

New approach enables efficient production of lab-grown 3D tissue for studying embryo development

19 March 2023

Mousing Development

A fertilised egg divides until a human emerges. Developmental biologists study this intricate dance of cells to learn how bodies are built. But getting a peek at the earliest stages of development isn't easy, so they use scientific models. One of the most exciting is the ETX embryoid, which is constructed from mouse stem cells. It allows scientists to study events that they can't see in the uterus, and it doesn't involve experimenting on animals. But high-quality ETX embryoids are difficult to produce. Here, we see one made using a new, more efficient recipe – its pattern of fluorescent tags tells us that its cells are properly organised. By fine-tuning their procedure, the researchers were able to produce these embryos with a 40% success rate. This improvement makes working with ETX embryoids more feasible for scientists around the world, which may help them answer profound questions about how life starts.

Written by Henry Stennett

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