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In the News - Wall Street Journal - Brivanlou

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Scientists Grow Embryos for Up to 13 Days Outside the Uterus

“In addition, to both teams’ surprise, the embryos outside the womb were able to ‘self-organize’ or begin to set in motion early development of key body organs without any biological cues from the mother. ‘That is counterintuitive to me,’ said Ali Brivanlou, head of the laboratory of stem-cell biology and molecular embryology at Rockefeller University in New York. ‘There was an assumption that the minute the embryo attaches, there would be an exchange between maternal and embryonic components’ that would be necessary for the next steps in the embryo’s development.”