EGENIS seminar: "From pluripotent stem cells to human embryos", Dr Ge Guo (University of Exeter)

Egenis seminar series

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date4 October 2021
Time15:30 to 17:00
PlaceOnline event.

Our life starts from a fertilized egg that develops into a distinctive multicellular structure called blastocyst. The blastocyst comprises three founding tissues, the epiblast, trophectoderm and hypoblast. Epiblast is the origin of the embryo proper and the source of pluripotent embryonic stem cells. Trophectoderm and hypoblast give rise to extra-embryonic tissues, the placenta and yolk sac, that support embryo development in the uterus. We have established human naïve embryonic stem cells. They are called “naïve” because they represent an earlier developmental stage than conventional human embryonic stem cells. Classic developmental biology studies in animal models suggested that epiblast and embryonic stem cells cannot regenerate trophectoderm.

However, we discovered that naïve human embryonic stem cells have the unique developmental plasticity to give rise to all cell types of the developing embryo including the extraembryonic trophectoderm.  We further demonstrated the capacity of human naïve stem cells to self-organize into blastocyst-like entities of the correct dimensions and composition. In this talk I will describe our human embryo model, the blastoid, and discuss potential applications in basic and biomedical research.

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