Teratocarcinomas and mammalian embryogenesis

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Science  15 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4458, pp. 768-776
DOI: 10.1126/science.6250214


In the last decade there has emerged an appreciation of the remarkable similarity between the cells that give rise to teratocarcinomas in mice and the cells that give rise to the developing mouse embryo. The resemblance is so close that in certain instances the tumor stem cells can join with their embryonic counterparts and develop into a completely normal mouse. The availability of stem cell lines isolated from mouse teratocarcinomas has made possible a number of new biochemical, immunological, and genetic approahes to the study of early mammalian development.