Scientists have successfully grown an embryo outside the body of a female rat through a special substance. Instead of the mother’s uterus, the stem cells were placed in a special gel culture the research team created. Under microscopes, the cells multiplied similarly to the speed of a rat embryo within seven days.
According to University of Cambridge Developmental Biologist Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, she sees the entire event as “a miracle of nature” and “a great understanding of the process” because it is incredibly beautiful to understand those forces” behind the development of a new life. Zernicka- Goetz’s goal is not to grow rats outside of the womb — or even human children outside the womb in the future.
Scientists place that about 2 out of 3 miscarriages are caused by improper embryo implantation. To observe the phenomena, Zernick-Goetz’s team used an artificial gel structure instead of the actual mother’s uterus — which is too tiny to observe using current ultrasound technologies.
The team said the research would benefit how to make the invasion of the embryo of its mother’s body better to prevent miscarriages in both humans and animals. According to Zernicka-Goetz, the understanding of the key principles of pregnancy at this stage will help save many children’s lives.