As the world gears and braces for the inevitable impacts of Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and full automation, many are left with questions. Some people are worried about jobs as they diminish, and automation increases, there are concerns over where the job market will be headed. It’s amazing to grasp that just a few years ago, the computer, the internet, and the whole concept of technology took a foothold in society. Right now, because of the uprising, many jobs have literally disappeared and other once never thought of jobs now exist. The truth is that life and society change every day. The key that all of us need to understand is that for us to not get left behind, then we must learn, adapt, and change. We are either the ones changing the world, or the world will change us. Many fear that the combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence will spawn a new race of robots which will have their own version of right or wrong. However, the one discovery which has managed to go below the radars is very significant, even more so than AI, is the creation of “Artificial Embryos”.
In case you took a breather and did a recheck of what was said in the last paragraph, you are correct in what you read. An embryo is what cells combine to form and what houses the beginnings of life. We all as mammals start out as embryos after fertilization takes place. The embryo develops the cells which in turn have their own DNA sequence that multiply and divide, then manifest into different parts of the body which determine sex, hair color, arm length, bone structure, and all the characteristics of an offspring. All of this comes from an embryo. There are constant studies and new developments as scientists do research on this mysterious, yet crucial part of life. Yue Shao, whom has a background in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering made an astounding discovery during this research and experimentation that has profound possibilities in the world of biology.
Yue Shao has been experimenting with stem cells and scaffolds of soft gel to determine replication of neural tissue. By pure accident and experimentation, Dr. Shao stumbled upon more than was bargained for. The cells in the gel began to change and rapidly arrange at rate that was astounding. They began to form a lopsided circle. In comparison, the embryo that Dr. Shao created was very much aligned with the same type of embryo which was in the uterine wall and starting to form the amniotic sac. The human embryo and the embryo that Dr. Shao was working on was identical. The possibilities of this developing into a human required the Dr. to reach out to other groups to determine what to do with the embryo.
After more research and development, the team determined that the embryo would not fully develop into a human being because it did not have the cells required to form major organs such as a brain, heart, or placenta. However, even though the “embryoids” lacked the required cells, because of their indistinguishable likeness to that of human embryos, the team has been destroying the embryos in formaldehyde and detergent. The ethical repercussions of the embryo going full term and what would come out of that development is too much of a risk to bring to light currently. This does not stop Pandora’s box which has already been opened to push other researchers to now want to create a full human embryo. One particular group in Cambridge, U.K., has since developed a very convincing 6 day old mouse embryo and are now pushing the limits to create a human embryo.
Many may ask and wonder if the goal is to replicate human beings or to develop another race. For now researchers are limiting the research to focus on combining different stem cells to create bits of lung, intestine, and brain cells to make tissue. By the discovery of Dr. Shao, the race is now in place and the torch has been lit for the group to first develop an actual human embryo. A research group in Rockefeller University out of New York has joined the race and they are dubbing the new technology to be called “synthetic embryology”.
This breakthrough is biologist have been searching for as previous attempts at creating an embryo resulted in embryos only growing up to a week before diminishing. The new discovery was growing at such a rapid rate that superseded previous attempts that the team with Dr. Shao had to terminate the process because they had no concept of what the embryo would have developed into. Up until now much of the events that take place during the development of a human from the embryo stage is still a mystery. Human cloning and creating replicas of a person are all on the table with this epic discovery. Now the possibilities of unlocking the process beyond the failed attempts are currently on the table due to Dr. Shao.
To take this to another level, the possibilities of creating real skin, human organs and human traits would take an android to another level of advancements towards being more like human beings. With the advancements of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and now stem research, the possibilities are now endless. Where we will go with these advancements as we open doors, we will have to see the direction that we allow the technology to lead us. Infusing technology and biology is a conception which has been brought to light many years ago from the introduction of the computer. With the influx of data being readily available and the communication expansions that have connected us all allows for these developments to surge and expand. The more questions that we ask is the more technology responds with answers and advancements. IT GURUS OF ATLANTA prides ourselves as leaders in the technology space and will keep providing updates in this arena.
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