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SPECIAL ISSUE: Human Development


Summary: Our second Special Issue on human development highlights recent progress in this field, new technologies that have contributed to this progress and some of the ethical issues to consider.


Summary: This Spotlight summarizes some of the ethical considerations associated with the use of gene-editing techniques in human embryos and embryo-like entities, highlighting the need for open and informed debate.

Summary: This Spotlight discusses the use of new in vitro models to study the origin of human primordial germ cells, prompting further consideration of the somatic cell fate decisions that occur during early human development.

Summary: This Spotlight discusses the central role that developmental biology played in the early stages of organ-chip technology development and how such technology has provided insights into human physiology and disease mechanisms.


Summary: This Review describes how recent technological advances have shed light on the mechanisms underlying human lung development and disease, and outlines the future challenges in this field.


Summary: New markers for specific cell types in the developing human kidney are identified and computational approaches infer developmental trajectories and interrogate the complex network of signaling pathways and cellular transitions.

Summary: Protocols for the differentiation of human iPSCs to somite derivatives (myotome, sclerotome, syndetome and dermatome) are developed and applied to the modeling of the bone disease fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.

Summary: This study develops sorting strategies to isolate specific pancreatic populations and use single-cell profiling to evaluate whether pancreatic cells derived from hPSCs mirror the process occurring in human fetuses.

Summary: Here, through immunohistochemistry and quantitative confocal microscopy of fetal, postnatal and adult thymus, we show that spatiotemporal regulation of Notch ligand expression in the human thymus controls niche-specific NOTCH1 signals required for dynamic T-cell development.

Summary: The three-dimensional induction of dorsal, intermediate and ventral spinal cord-like tissues from human pluripotent stem cells described provides a useful experimental tool for studying human spinal cord development.

Summary: The first transcriptome profiling of human neuromesodermal progenitor-like cells, generation of human spinal cord progenitors from these cells and a GFP-reporter for Nkx1.2 in human embryonic stem cells.

Summary: ITGA2 marks a proliferative trophoblast progenitor compartment in first trimester human placenta that appears to be regulated by NOTCH signalling and exhibits a unique combination of epithelial and mesenchymal expression characteristics.

Summary: Histological examination and transcriptomic analysis of human meiosis-arrested spermatocytes reveals two prophase arrest mechanisms, each associated with distinct gene expression profiles implicating the involvement of different biological processes.

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