The creation of the world's first lab-grown "synthetic embryo" has sparked a fierce ethical debate.
A group of researchers at Israel's Wizemann Institute of Science created a synthetic mouse embryo in a lab without eggs or a uterus, potentially giving us a glimpse of what happens in the early stages of human pregnancies.
This new embryo model, which was detailed in the team's paper published this week in the journal Cell, was able to mimic all the makings of an early body.
There could be major ramifications from the research.
Many pregnancies are lost around this stage, and we don't know why. It is possible to better understand what can go wrong with the help of models.
The embryo model only lasted eight days out of the 20-day mouse embryo cycle, which is critical to the company's goal of funding research.
The goal of the startup is to develop synthetic human stem cells in an attempt to "solve" human health crises.
In order to harvest tissues for transplants, bio renewal wants to create embryo stage versions of humans.
Critics who spoke with MIT Technology Review said that it wasn't time to talk about the creation of synthetic human embryos.
Nicolas Rivron, a stem-cell scientist at Vienna's Institute ofMolecular Biotechnology, told the magazine that it's not necessary.
He's not the only one who has criticized.
According to the Francis Crick Institute in London, synthetic human embryos are not an immediate prospect.
He said that the inefficiency of the mouse synthetic embryos suggests that it would take further development to translate the findings to humans.
Regardless of where researchers fall on the topic, most agree that it's too early to discuss the ethics of synthetic human embryos.
This startup wants to clone you into an embryo to harvest organs.