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Scientists have shed light on an important stage of early embryonic development that has never been fully mapped out in humans before.

DNA strand

Due to more readily available samples, studies so far have focused on the first week after conception and at later stages beyond a month into pregnancy, during which organs form and mature. However, there is currently very little understanding of events that take place in the intervening days, which includes the crucial gastrulation stage that occurs shortly after the embryo implants in the womb.

Analysis of a unique sample by researchers from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford and Helmholtz Zentrum München helps fill this gap in our knowledge of early human embryogenesis. Their findings, published in the journal Nature, will contribute to the improvement of experimental stem cell models.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website.

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