Artificial embryos created from skin cells possible after breakthrough at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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New Research from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has found a way way to transform skin cells into the three stem cell types that make up an early-stage embryo. This discovery paves a path towards creating an embryo without the need for an egg or sperm.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, corresponding author on the new study, Yosef Buganim, said that the science is still likely decades away from replicating the process in humans, but the current goal is to create a mouse embryo using the technique.

“To make a baby, we need to organize the cells into a 3-D structure,” says Buganim. “Then, if done correctly – if we find the exact ratio between the cell types and the right environment – we could generate an embryo.

Last, year a team of Cambridge scientists demonstrated the creation of an artificial mouse embryo by combining these three types of stem cells. That research was the first time an embryo was effectively created without a sperm or egg.

Where the Cambridge research captured the three stem cell types from a developing mouse embryo, the Israeli study indicates these three stem cell types can be generated from adult skin cells, with a combination of five genes responsible for triggering the transformation of the skin cells into each of three embryonic cell types.

The new research was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Thanks to New Atlas for the report ( which has been paraphrased here )