Thursday, May 3, 2018


  Rapid advances are allowing scientists to goad balls of stem cells into organizing themselves into organoids — from structures mimicking mini eyes, guts, livers and brains to, so far in mice at least (and researchers want to do the same with human cells), an early embryo.
   The goal is to create models of early organ and human development to study diseases, screen new drugs and ultimately produce new tissues and organs for transplant. But as organoids grow more sophisticated, the science is raising sticky ethical questions, including whether these three-dimensional balls of cells could develop morally worrying features. How close to the real things should scientists be making them, and could the burgeoning field lead to the first complete human embryo created from stem cells, and not eggs and sperm?

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