Opening the “Black Box” of Human Development

With an eye to studying human development and finding new ways to treat reproductive problems, scientists have created the first living 3D models of human embryos—or embryoids.
 
Scientists aren’t allowed to study real human embryos after 14 days of development. But by fabricating an embryo outside of a woman’s womb, the researchers have opened the “black box” of early embryonic development.
 
The remarkable achievement has raised questions about the ethical limits of creating such human models. “At what point do these models effectively just become the real thing?" asks bioethicist Insoo Hyun, who was not involved in the research.
 
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