Year 3

We proposed three aims to increase knowledge of basic aspects of preimplantation human embryo development, to provide the first examination of cell behavior of aneuploid blastomeres, and to utilize embryology to assist in production/diagnosis of “gold standard” pluripotent cell lines. Over the course of the grant, we have functionally-probed requirements for human embryonic genome activation (both genetic and epigenetic determinants), examined gene expression in single embryos and single blastomeres of embryos, examined the correlations between cell cycle parameters as determined by non-invasive imaging, and identified long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) that are expressed specifically in human embryos and enhance reprogramming. Overall the studies shed significant light on normal and aberrant human embryo development and have been translated to studies of pluripotent stem cell derivation and differentiation.