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Artificial womb, the age of motherless birth approaches

  • Published at 09:51 am September 6th, 2017
  • Last updated at 06:04 pm September 6th, 2017
Artificial womb, the age of motherless birth approaches
Technology is well on the way to realising ectogenesis, improving premature baby survival and increasing fertility options. Researchers are approaching a biotechnological breakthrough, towards the invention of a complete external womb dubbed as ‘Ectogenesis’. The technology could change the very nature of human reproduction. According to a Guardian report, researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia developed of an artificial womb, on April this year. The ‘Biobag’ is a significant improvement over conventional incubators, and was developed for improving the survival rate of premature babies. Test results have confirmed that lamb foetus, which are the equivalent of a premature human foetus of 22-24 weeks, can successfully grow in the Biobag. Meanwhile, researchers at Cambridge University have used a mix of nutrients that mimic conditions in the womb, to keep a human embryo alive outside the body for 13 days. The research was only halted because the researchers were approaching the 14-day legal limit for keeping a human embryo outside a body. Scientists have become better at reproducing the conditions of the womb in a lab, which is the key to survival of foetuses through ectogenesis. Further research will help narrow the gap between the longest time embryos can survive and the earliest time a foetus is viable. The external womb technology has come far, but it will have to be perfected through further research into the field. Ectogenesis will have amazing medical benefits for the human race. External wombs could save the lives of premature babies, help infertile couple; give homosexual and trans-gender people new fertility options and enable older parents to have children. The technology could offer a safer alternative to traditional pregnancy and childbirth. Ectogenesis could also help humanity achieve a new equality in parenthood, and it could dismantle the gender hierarchies within our society. There will be no excuse for a male-dominated society, or many other blatant gender inequalities, once the parental roles are equal. The society as we know it today, could be fundamentally changed by the artificial womb technology in the not so distant future. The societal implications are sure to be significant as the age of motherless birth approaches.
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