Science In Action

Science In Action

BBC World Service

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

Categories: Science & Medicine

Listen to the last episode:

This week two research groups announced that they have made synthetic mouse embryos that developed brains and beating hearts in the test tube, starting only with embryonic stem cells. No sperm and eggs were involved. Previously, embryos created this way have never got beyond the stage of being a tiny ball of cells. These embryos grew and developed organs through 8 days – more than a third of the way through the gestation period for a mouse. Roland Pease talks to the leader of one of the teams, developmental biologist Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz of Cambridge University and Caltech about how and why they did this, and the ethical issues around this research. Also in the programme: the latest research on how we spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus when we breathe. Infectious disease researcher Kristen Coleman of the University of Maryland tells us about her experiments that have measured the amounts of virus in the tiny aerosol particles emanating from the airways of recently infected people. The results underscore the value of mask-wearing and effective ventilation in buildings. We also hear about new approaches to vaccines against the virus – Kevin Ing of the Crick Institute in London talks about the possibility of a universal coronavirus vaccine based on his research, and immunologist Akiko Iwasaki of Yale University extolls the advantages of nasal vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. (Image: Stem cell built mouse embryo at 8 days. Credit: Zernicka-Goetz Lab) Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

Previous episodes

  • 360 - Synthetic mouse embryos with brains and hearts 
    Thu, 04 Aug 2022
  • 359 - The first galaxies at the universe's dawn 
    Thu, 28 Jul 2022
  • 358 - Heat waves in the Northern Hemisphere 
    Thu, 21 Jul 2022
  • 357 - First images from the James Webb Space Telescope 
    Thu, 14 Jul 2022
  • 356 - Long Covid ‘brain fog’ 
    Thu, 07 Jul 2022
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