Developmental biologists have extensively studied the developmental stages of the embryo via mouse models and scarce human embryo data. While there is a detailed understanding of the pre-implementation stages, much less is understood between the peri-implantation to gastrulation stages due in large part because the implantation of the embryo makes it extremely challenging to visualize and study(reviewed in 1). Gaining a better understanding of how embryos develop could help researchers understand why nearly 60% of pregnancies fail between fertilization and implantation stages; furthermore, a greater understanding of the development during this period could also provide insight for treating early-stage developmental-related diseases and provide embryo-like models for testing the safety of drugs during pregnancy. There are several technical and ethical barriers that have impeded scientific progress toward understanding this “black box” in embryonic development; for example, novel approaches to growing embryos outside of the uterus have been a limiting factor. Recent advances in the tools, processes, and models have drastically enhanced scientists’ ability to elucidate a more complete picture of human embryonic development, and below we discuss some of the fundamental discoveries.
Also included in this newsletter:
- Actin and Microtubule Tools
- Related Publications