An Era of Motherless Births, Thanks to Artificial Wombs

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An Era of Motherless Births, Thanks to Artificial Wombs

 

A lot of women want to have kids but don’t want to get pregnant. If you are one of them, hang on because an era of motherless births is on its way.

 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

For many years, ectogenesis, the term given to pregnancy conducted outside the uterus, has become a big topic in several fields such as medicine, ethics, and psychology. This could be possible through the artificial womb, technology that substitutes for a real womb right from the start so the fetus never needs to be inside a human. This can significantly save premature babies. According to an article by GAF, an online site that features the latest news across the globe, this technology had been predicted decades ago. In 1924, JBS Haldane, the one who coined the term ectogenesis, projected that by 2074, this would account for more than 70 percent of human births.

 

Photo Credit: GAF News

 

In 2017, a team of Australian and Japanese scientists conducted a study that aimed to analyze the new technology. The researchers used an artificial womb to keep premature lamb fetuses alive – equivalent to a human fetus at 24 weeks of gestation. According to an American website that aggregates press releases and publishes lightly edited press releases about science, the study showed the feasibility of extended survival with artificial placenta technology in late preterm fetuses. 

 

Photo Credit: LeapsMag

 

"This result underscores the potential clinical application of this technology for extremely preterm infants born at the border of viability. In the world of artificial placenta technology, we have effectively broken the 4-minute mile,” Associate Professor Matt Kemp, head of WIRF's Perinatal Research Laboratories and Local Chief Investigator, said. 

Kemp stated that the goal of this study is to design technology that would revolutionize the treatment of severely premature newborns, which will build a bridge between a natural womb and the outside world. This will give babies born at the earliest gestational ages more time for their fragile lungs to mature. 

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