Tech

This startup plans to create realistic human embryos


Now humans

Renewal Bio’s exact engineering plan has not yet been completed, and The company’s web site just a calling card. “It’s very low on detail for a reason. Omri Amirav-Drory, a partner at NFX who is serving as CEO of the new company, said we don’t want to be overly hyped and we don’t want to upset people. “Sensitive images here.”

Some scientists say it will be difficult to develop models of human embryos to an advanced stage and that it is better to avoid the controversy caused by mimicking real embryos too closely.

“It’s completely unnecessary, so why would you do that?” Nicolas Rivron, a stem cell scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna. He argued that scientists should create only “the minimal embryonic structure necessary” to generate the cells of interest.

For his part, Amirav-Drory said he hasn’t seen a technology with much potential since the CRISPR gene-editing technology first appeared. “The ability to create a synthetic embryo from cells – no egg, no sperm, no uterus – is truly amazing,” he said. “We think it could be a huge, transformative platform technology that can be applied to both fertility and longevity.”

Mechanical uterus

To create a legacy of breakthroughs, Hanna’s lab has combined cutting-edge stem cell science with new types of bioreactors.

A year ago, the stem cell specialist first introduced “mechanical uterusIn it, he tried to culture natural mouse embryos outside of female mice for several days. This system involves rotating the jars to keep the embryos bathed in nourishing blood serum and oxygen.

mechanical intrauterine device
Mechanical intrauterine mouse embryos from 2021 study

A. AGUILERA-CASTREJON ET AL., NATURE 2021

In new research published this week, Hanna used the same mechanical uterus, but this time to grow identical embryos created from stem cells.

Notably, when stem cells are grown together in specially shaped containers, they naturally bind together. and try to assemble a workpiece, which produces structures known as embryonic, blastoid, or synthetic embryo models. Many researchers emphasize that despite their appearance, these structures have a limited relationship to the actual embryo and have no potential for full development.



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