Dr. Paola Arlotta is the Golub Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. She is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation, and assembly of the human brain’s cerebral cortex. She talks about using organoids to study the genetics of autism. She also discusses single-cell sequencing of brain organoids and how to make single-cell sequencing methods and data more accessible.
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Dr. Jacob Hanna is an Associate Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His lab investigates cellular reprogramming and embryogenesis. He talks about the challenges of growing synthetic embryo models in a roller culture system and the feasibility of making human gametes. He also discusses his startup, Renewal Bio, the ethical discussions surrounding stem cell-derived embryos, and creating a more inclusive and equitable scientific community.
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Dr. Jun Wu is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern. The Wu lab uses interspecies chimeras to study fundamental biology: conserved and divergent developmental programs, determination of body and organ size, species barriers, and cancer resistance. They are also working to develop new applications for regenerative medicine. He talks about developmental compatibility between species, and the similarities and differences between blastoid models and blastocysts. He also discusses the challenges of growing human cells in animals, and human-monkey chimeric embryos.
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Dr. Edward Grow is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, Southwestern. His lab studies reproductive biology, specifically the development of the egg and subsequently the fertilized embryo. He talks about regulating totipotency in ESCs, retroviral reactivation, and ex vivo culturing of follicles and oocytes.
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Dr. Michael Levin is the Director of the Allen Discovery Center and a Distinguished Professor of Biology at Tufts University. He is a cognitive biologist who utilizes model systems such as Xenopus to answer fundamental questions in developmental biology. He talks about regenerating frog legs, using bioelectricity to direct development, and the potential applications of xenobots.
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