Technology & Health

Stem cell studies probe origins of the placenta

Stem cell studies probe origins of the placenta

The placenta—a Frisbee-size hunk of tissue that chaperones a fetus in the uterus only to be tossed aside in the delivery room—has mysterious beginnings. The organ emerges from a set of cells that develop alongside the embryo and have been difficult to grow in the lab. Now, researchers have devised a way to derive and observe early precursors of placental cells in a dish.

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