AEverything is tiny, but everything is there – almost everything: a beating heart can be seen, the yolk sac and the embryonic bladder, what will later become the placental tissue, the forebrain and midbrain are also starting to appear, as well as the neural folds and neural tube, from which the spinal cord later develops. The structure of the body is also recognizable, and – invisible from the outside, but demonstrable – primordial germ cells. Thus, primordial germ cells that every embryo carries within itself and are nothing less than the beginning of everything, of every after-me.
However, what we see is not an embryo. It’s a “SWEM”, which is short for “synthetic whole embryoid”, also “ETiX-Embryo”, which is even harder to translate. Jacob Hanna uses the term “s-embryo” – “s” stands for synthetic. Artificially. A pure laboratory creation, a homunculus. Hanna is a stem cell researcher from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, one of the most important research centers in the world when it comes to genetic engineering and biotechnology. Especially when it comes to preserving and optimizing human life with all available means of laboratory medicine and enabling it to multiply. Hanna recently founded a company for the eventual commercialization of his s-embryos together with another Israeli life scientist, the molecular geneticist Omri Amirav-Drory, “Renewal Bio” is the company name.