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From Embryology

The following are earlier versions of the news panel that appears on the website Main Page.

2017

July

News - CRISPR Gene Editing
CRISPR Cas9 interaction with target DNA

It has been reported (but not confirmed by publication) that USA scientists have gene-edited embryos using CRISPR

This follows on from an earlier 2015 published work (PMID 25894090) from China using the same technique see Nature 22 April 2015 and a more recent 2017 paper (PMID 28251317).


About CRISPR

The CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing system was derived from the adaptive immune system evolved in bacteria to defend against invading plasmids and viruses.

Links: CRISPR | Genetics
Older News Articles - Gestational Diabetes | Kyoto eBook | Dolly's sisters live on! | Thalidomide in Zebrafish | Human pancreas stem cells | Oral contraceptive no risk of major birth defects | Maternal Malaria Neurovascular Development Effects | Oocyte/Spermatozoa fate decision Rubella eliminated in the Americas | Three-person embryos

February

Australia - Gestational Diabetes (2015)
Australia - insulin-treated diabetes by type 2015

Proportion of insulin-treated diabetes by type (2015) The 2017 published AIHW fact sheet provides the latest available national data on new cases of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia. It shows that in 2015 there were 28,775 people who began using insulin to treat their diabetes in Australia

  • 63% had type 2 diabetes
  • 26% (18,142) had gestational diabetes
  • 9% had type 1 diabetes
  • 2% had other forms of diabetes or their diabetes status was unknown.

In 2015, 7,405 women began using insulin to manage gestational diabetes—130 cases per 100,000 women of reproductive age (15–49 years), or around 1 in every 800 women aged 15–49. This represents almost 1 in 4 (24%) women diagnosed with gestational diabetes aged 15–49 in 2015. Gestational diabetes occurs when higher than normal blood glucose is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. It generally occurs in the second or third trimester, among women who have not previously been diagnosed with other forms of diabetes.

Reference: AIHW 2017. Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia, 2015. Diabetes series no. 27. Cat. no. CVD 78. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 20 February 2017 http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129558632.

Links: Maternal Diabetes | AIWH Factsheet
Older News Articles - Kyoto eBook | Dolly's sisters live on! | Thalidomide in Zebrafish | Human pancreas stem cells | Oral contraceptive no risk of major birth defects | Maternal Malaria Neurovascular Development Effects | Oocyte/Spermatozoa fate decision Rubella eliminated in the Americas | Three-person embryos

2016

September

News - Embryonic Development - Kyoto eBook
Kyoto Embryo Collection
AvailableBook.png

The Kyoto embryo collection is the largest collection of human embryos in the world, it therefore provides a unique research and educational resource for studying all aspects of early human development.

This iBook now allows you to observe selected embryos from the first 8 weeks after fertilization and explore for yourself the changes that occur in normal human development during this key period. This atlas of the Kyoto embryos from Carnegie Stage 7 to 23 provides a brief description of each stage, surface views, interactive images, histology, movies and a glossary.


Links: Kyoto Collection | Embryology iBooks
Older News Articles - Dolly's sisters live on! | Thalidomide in Zebrafish | Human pancreas stem cells | Oral contraceptive no risk of major birth defects | Maternal Malaria Neurovascular Development Effects | Oocyte/Spermatozoa fate decision Rubella eliminated in the Americas | Three-person embryos

August

News - Dolly's sisters live on!
Four 8-year old Finn-Dorset clones

PMID 27459299 This recent report showed that 13 cloned sheep generated from the same cell line that produced "Dolly" have now survived much longer, and appear to have health measurements within the normal ranges.

Links: Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer | Sheep Development
Older News Articles - Thalidomide in Zebrafish | Human pancreas stem cells | Oral contraceptive no risk of major birth defects | Maternal Malaria Neurovascular Development Effects | Oocyte/Spermatozoa fate decision Rubella eliminated in the Americas | Three-person embryos | 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine - Neural Development | Hippocampus Development | WHO - Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990 to 2013 - Statistics - Maternal Mortality | WHO polio - Polio Virus | Trisomy 21 - Genome-wide Effects

June

News - Thalidomide Molecular Mechanism shown in Zebrafish
Thalidomide destabilizes CD147

PMID 27294876 | Nat Med.

Thalidomide (and derivatives lenalidomide and pomalidomide) are treatments for hematologic malignancies, multiple myeloma (MM) and del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Cereblon (CRBN) is the primary target for both the anticancer and teratogenic effects, and it promotes the maturation of CD147 (also known as Basigin) a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily).

Zebrafish knockdown of CD147 was shown to match the teratogenic effects of thalidomide exposure.

Links: Abnormal Development - Thalidomide | Zebrafish Development
Older News Articles - Human pancreas stem cells show glycemic control in mice | Oral contraceptive no risk of major birth defects | Maternal Malaria Neurovascular Development Effects | Oocyte/Spermatozoa fate decision Rubella eliminated in the Americas | Three-person embryos | 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine - Neural Development | Hippocampus Development | WHO - Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990 to 2013 - Statistics - Maternal Mortality | WHO polio - Polio Virus | Trisomy 21 - Genome-wide Effects


March

News - Human Pancreas Stem Cells show Glycemic control in Mice
Human stem cell pancreas implants


"Long-term glycemic control using polymer-encapsulated human stem cell-derived beta cells in immune-competent mice."

PMID 26808346 | Nat Med.

Implanted in the intraperitoneal space of mice treated to chemically induce type 1 diabetes. Implants induced glycemic correction without any immunosuppression until their removal at 174 d after implantation. Human C-peptide concentrations and in vivo glucose responsiveness demonstrated therapeutically relevant glycemic control and retrieved implants contained viable insulin-producing cells.

Links: Stem Cells | Endocrine - Pancreas Development
Older News Articles - Oral contraceptive no risk of major birth defects | Maternal Malaria Neurovascular Development Effects | Oocyte/Spermatozoa fate decision Rubella eliminated in the Americas | Three-person embryos | 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine - Neural Development | Hippocampus Development | WHO - Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990 to 2013 - Statistics - Maternal Mortality | WHO polio - Polio Virus | Trisomy 21 - Genome-wide Effects

January

News - Oral Contraceptives and Abnormal Development
Menstrual cycle
Oral Contraceptives A recent 2016 Danish study births from Danish registries between 1997 and 2011 identified that:


"Oral contraceptive exposure just before or during pregnancy does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of major birth defects."

PMID 26738512 | BMJ


Links: Menstrual Cycle | Abnormal Development

2015

September

News - Maternal Malaria Neurovascular Development Effects
Mouse E18 neurovasculature MicroCT.jpg
Malaria plasmodium falciparum.jpg
Malaria (plasmodium falciparum) - 125 million pregnancies worldwide are at risk of malaria infection every year. A recent mouse model of maternal infection, without embryo infection, has shown effects on neurovasular development in the exposed offspring. (More? PMID 26402732 | Abnormal Development - Malaria | Neural | Cardiovascular)

June

Oocyte/Spermatozoa fate decision by Primordial Germ Cells
Medaka

Medaka Sex determination is an essential step in the commitment of a germ cell to a spermatozoa or oocyte. The intrinsic factors that determine the sexual fate of vertebrate germ cells are unknown. "foxl3 is expressed in germ cells but not somatic cells in the gonad, and has been identified as involved in sperm-egg fate decision in medaka fish. Adult XX medaka with disrupted foxl3 developed functional sperm in the expanded germinal epithelium of a histologically functional ovary. In chimeric medaka, mutant germ cells initiated spermatogenesis in female wild-type gonad. These results indicate that a germ cell-intrinsic cue for the sperm-egg fate decision is present in medaka and that spermatogenesis can proceed in a female gonadal environment." (More? PMID 26067255 | Medaka Development | Oocyte Development | Spermatozoa Development)

April

Americas region is declared the world’s first to eliminate endemic transmission of rubella
Rubella Virions

Rubella is a contagious viral disease that can cause multiple birth defects as well as fetal death when contracted by women during pregnancy.

"This achievement culminates a 15-year effort that involved widespread administration of the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) throughout the Western Hemisphere. The announcement comes as 45 countries and territories of the Americas are participating in the 13th annual Vaccination Week in the Americas (April 25 to May 2)." This follows the regional eradication of smallpox in 1971 and the elimination of polio in 1994.


(More? Rubella Virus | WOO/PAHO Announcement)

February

Three-person embryos
Mitochondria EM01.jpg
UK government has voted to legalize a gene-therapy technique that could help women to avoid passing genetic defects onto their children.

The technique called either "mitochondrial replacement" or "three-person in vitro fertilization" intention is to prevent maternal mitochondrial mutations to be passed on to children. Its estimated that estimated 1 in 5,000 children are born with these type of diseases caused by such mutations.

(More? Image - Swapping mitochondrial DNA mammalian oocytes | Assisted Reproductive Technology | Mitochondria | Nature comment

2014

October

Hippocampus Development
Human hippocampus cartoon.jpg
2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser - for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain

(More? Hippocampus Development | Nobel Press Release)

July

Embryo Epigenetics
Epigenetics cartoon.jpg
Embryos Reprogram their Epigenetics

Two recent studies show that after fertilisation human embryos loose DNA methylation from most of the genome. This implies that there is an early "reprogramming" or "resetting" of the embryo's epigenetic status.

(More? Epigenetics | Nature. 2014 Jul PMID 25079558 PMID 25079557)

June

Maternal Mortality
WHO map maternal mortality ratio 2013.jpg
WHO - Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990 to 2013

An estimated 289,000 women died in 2013 due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523,000 in 1990.

  • more than 1 in 4 maternal deaths are caused by pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, malaria and obesity, whose health impacts can all be aggravated by pregnancy. A related WHO study of causes of more than 60 000 maternal deaths in 115 countries caused 28% of the deaths.
  • Similar to the proportion of deaths during pregnancy and childbirth from severe bleeding.
(More? Statistics - Maternal Mortality | WHO Report Page)

May

Polio-Eradication-Initiative.jpg

The World Health Organization says polio has re-emerged as a public health emergency.

  • 1988 - virus was endemic in 125 countries, and 350,000 cases were recorded worldwide.
  • 2014 - virus is considered endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan (2013 only 417 cases detected). Currently affects 10 countries worldwide.

(More? Polio Virus | WHO - Polio)

March

Chromosome- trisomy.jpg
"In high-risk pregnant women, noninvasive prenatal testing with the use of massively parallel sequencing of maternal plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA testing) accurately detects fetal autosomal aneuploidy. Its performance in low-risk women is unclear. ...In a general obstetrical population, prenatal testing with the use of cfDNA had significantly lower false positive rates and higher positive predictive values for detection of trisomies 21 and 18 than standard screening. (Funded by Illumina; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01663350.)."

(More? Trisomy 21 | Trisomy 18 | Prenatal Diagnosis)

Reference: Diana W Bianchi, R Lamar Parker, Jeffrey Wentworth, Rajeevi Madankumar, Craig Saffer, Anita F Das, Joseph A Craig, Darya I Chudova, Patricia L Devers, Keith W Jones, Kelly Oliver, Richard P Rava, Amy J Sehnert, CARE Study Group DNA sequencing versus standard prenatal aneuploidy screening. N. Engl. J. Med.: 2014, 370(9);799-808 PubMed 24571752

| N Engl J Med.

Older News Articles

January

News - Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency
Stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency 01.jpg
"Here we report a unique cellular reprogramming phenomenon, called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP), which requires neither nuclear transfer nor the introduction of transcription factors. In STAP, strong external stimuli such as a transient low-pH stressor reprogrammed mammalian somatic cells, resulting in the generation of pluripotent cells." (More? Nature paper | Induced Stem Cells | Stem Cells)

Is STAP Real?

  • RIKEN Panel Finds Misconduct in Reprogrammed Stem Cell Papers Science April 2014
  • Japanese research institute has opened an investigation into this groundbreaking stem cell study after concerns were raised about its credibility. The RIKEN investigation follows allegations on blog sites about the use of duplicated images in Obokata’s papers, and numerous failed attempts to replicate her results. Nature

2013

2012 Nobel Prize for Stem Cells
Mouse- embryonic stem cell signaling regulation.jpg  ‎‎Stem Cell Signaling

Nobel Prize | Stem Cells

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent"

  • Yamanaka Factors Are a set of 4 transcription factors when introduced into cells induces stem cell formation. PMID 16904174 | PMID 18035408 | PMID 20535199
  • John Gurdon used nuclear transplantation and cloning to show that the nucleus of a differentiated somatic cell retains the totipotency necessary to form a whole organism. 2003 Current Biology Interview PMID 14521852 2009 Interview - "The birth of cloning" PMID 19132124

(More? Yamanaka Factors | Induced Stem Cells | Stem Cells)