In our group we investigate molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the specification of cell lineages and patterning. The mouse embryo is our major model system because this allows us to combine cell biological and molecular genetic approaches with live embryo imaging to study development in a system that is close to our own, human development.
These are two embryos at the blastocyst stage, 5 days after fertilization. Different color dyes mark various cell types in the blastocysts. This 3D confocal microscope image was collected in MagdaZernicka-Goetz lab by Berna Sozen and Wonder Science processed it to give a sense of seeing from inside the hollow embryo cavity. A baby-baby's eye-view!
Magda Zernicka-Goetz and her research team are unveiling new things about early embryonic cells — stem cells are not without bias — actually stem cells have proclivities and will tend to become one sort of cell or another. These proclivities are plastic and can change if need be — in other words yes, they are pluripotent and versatile, but it's not entirely "all the same" to an embryonic stem cell what it becomes.