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Summary: With this Special Issue, Development signals its strong interest in the field of human development – a new research frontier opened up by recent technological advances.


Summary: This Spotlight summarises the remit and efforts of the Human Developmental Biology Resource – and other similar projects – that provides researchers with access to human tissue and related services.

Summary: This opinion piece considers the progress in the use of human PSCs in regenerative medicine – fuelled by advances in developmental biology – in five areas that offer great promise for clinical applications.

Summary: This opinion piece discusses the difficulties involved in using stem cells to study diseases of the elderly, and how these might be overcome.


Summary: This Review examines recent efforts in defining and capturing the human naïve pluripotent state in vivo and in vitro, in light of the different states of pluripotency found in the mouse.

Summary: As discussed in this Review, genome sequencing and functional genomic approaches enable analysis of the evolutionary and developmental origin of traits unique to our species.

Summary: This Review discusses recent advances in the generation of ESC- and adult stem cell-derived organoids in order to understand the development of endoderm-derived organs in human and to develop therapeutic strategies for repair.

Summary: This Review presents a human-centric view of the latest advances in our understanding of pancreas development and the relevance of these insights from a clinical perspective.

Summary: This Review examines stem cell-based approaches to analysing human brain development, from specification of particular cell types to building neuronal networks.


Summary: Single-cell RNA-sequencing of human and mouse embryos reveals conserved and human-specific transcriptional programmes as well as a functional requirement for TGFβ signalling in human embryos.

Summary: The profiling of neural progenitors derived from human ESCs and foetal brain shows that miRNAs display region-specific expression patterns, suggesting that they contribute to establishing regional identity.

Summary: Human PSC-derived cerebral cortex neurons form large-scale functional networks that change over time and mimic those found in the developing cerebral cortex in vivo.

Summary: Human epidermal neural crest stem cells isolated from the bulge of hair follicles are used to derive Schwann cells that could be useful for regenerative therapies, disease modelling and drug discovery.

Summary: The manipulation of signals that control embryonic patterning allows human pluripotent stem cells to be differentiated into endothelial subpopulations with distinct haematopoietic, angiogenic and cardiogenic potential.


Summary: Maternal miRNAs are differentially expressed in the human endometrium and are released into the endometrial fluid, suggesting that they may act as transcriptomic modifiers of the pre-implantation embryo.


Summary: An approach to assess the chimera-forming ability of PSCs is developed and used to assess the developmental potential of rodent, monkey and human PSCs.

Summary: The analysis of gene expression in the human foetal heart reveals stage- and chamber-specific genes and provides a dataset that can be used for benchmarking human PSC-derived heart cells.

Summary: An assay in which single, freshly isolated human mammary epithelial cells are cultured in a matrix environment is developed and used to quantify the regenerative potential of human mammary cells.

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