Early mammalian development: from basic research to the clinic
Open Access | Published: 16 April 2019
Aneta Suwińska* and Anna Ajduk*
Department of Embryology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Preimplantation embryonic development lays the foundations for the future individual. Fertilization, cleavage, differentiation of the first embryonic cell lineages and implantation of the embryo into the maternal uterus are absolutely critical for proper embryogenesis. Solving unanswered questions as well as creating new ideas and theories constitute the main axis of the basic research, which is driven by the curiosity of scientists and their desire to explore the unknown. We researchers have been exploring the development of mammalian embryos for decades, searching for the answer to the most fundamental question in the whole area of biology: how a complex organism derives from a single totipotent cell, a zygote. Due to obvious ethical concerns, animals, such as mice and, currently more and more often, cattle, pigs and rabbits, have become useful models for studying human embryonic development. Unprecedented advancement in cell and molecular biology techniques witnessed in the last years allows us to deepen our understanding of mammalian embryonic development.