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The emergence of pluripotency and germline specification in non-rodent mammals

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Pluripotent epiblast cells of early mammalian embryos give rise to all the lineages that make up a fetus. How these cells emerge and what gene networks determine their identity has been a topic of much discussion over recent years, mainly due to differences reported between humans and mice. Indeed, human and mouse embryos differ substantially during the period when the epiblast develops, and this seems to impact how embryonic lineages are determined. We use pig embryos as a model for non-rodents species, because of the shared embryology with humans. I will present data showing conserved features of pluripotency and germline origin between humans and pigs and highlight important advantages of using the pig embryo as a model for non-rodent mammalian development to complement studies on human embryos

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