Most of us have heard of organoids but what about the related model called an “assembloid”, which is a term growing in use including from organoid researcher Sergiu Pasca of Stanford?
Before we jump into that, be sure to enter The Niche stem cell image contest for your chance to win $100 or some swag.
An assembloid is a conglomeration of organoids. In a review of last year in Development, Sergiu Pasca gave readers this definition:
“Assembloids are self-organizing 3D cellular systems that result from the integration of multiple organoids or the combination of organoids with missing cell types or primary tissue explants.”
The idea is you can have a 3D structure that spans tissues of multiple regions or identities. What is an example of an assembloid? Let’s dive into a new paper by Pasca to talk more about this.
New Sergiu Pasca paper
Assembloid CRISPR screens reveal impact of disease genes in human neurodevelopment, Nature. This pub reports a directed screen for ASD-related genes, “Here we integrate assembloids with CRISPR screening to investigate the involvement of 425 NDD genes in human interneuron development.” They didn’t euse typical brain organoids. Rather they used assembloids made by taking very specific types of brain organoids “integrated with human cortical organoids (hCO) to form human forebrain assembloids (hFA). You get a defined, large span of brain tissues this way. The work helps provide new avenues for figuring out genetic contributions to ASD.
So could we consider assembloids to just be more complex organoids? What do you think?
More regenerative reads
- Raising the bar for stem cell research: Q&A with Jack Mosher, Spectrum. Interview on stem cell standards and ISSCR.
- In ‘proof of concept,’ CRISPR-engineered chickens shrug off flu, Science.
- Monarch butterfly is not endangered, conservation authority decides, Science. It’s still endangered, but I’d call this research good news that things aren’t as bad as people thought.
The status of the human gene catalogue, Nature. How many genes do people have?
Human embryo models made from pluripotent stem cells are not synthetic; they aren’t embryos, either, Cell Stem Cell. I get their point on not using the term synthetic. Here’s some more common sense from the authors Amander Clark and Hannah Landecker: “Calling these entities “synthetic embryos” or muddying the waters with Frankenstein narratives might make for good headlines in a news cycle, but it inaccurately portrays the science as being bent on the making of replicant human beings. The purpose of embryo models is not to make human beings from in vitro entities. The purpose is to use them to explore human biology in ways that are not harmful to nascent or actual human persons.”
The variability of judicial decisions in the stem cell industry in China, Cell Stem Cell. This is a fascinating piece on the courts’ view of stem cells in China.
My Asst Proj Sci Rachel and I have a new review out on the roles of histone H3.3 in development & disease as elucidated by mouse knockout work by various labs. Knockout tales: the versatile roles of histone H3.3 in development and disease, Epigenetics & Chromatin. These knockout studies provide important context for the roles of mutant H3.3 in childhood glioma and neurodevelopmental disorders.