Ectogenesis: Raising a Foetus Outside the Human Body in an Artificial Womb

#Health

Wed, Aug 6th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Motherboard, in the next 30 years artificial wombs will be common place. While the idea is good -- not only it frees women's bodies from having to carry the child, but it ensures the health and safety of both mother and baby -- the technology could be "a social and political minefield."

The ectogenesis technology itself is highly complicated, though somewhat simple looking. Basically, it appears as an amniotic fluid-filled aquarium with a bunch of feeding tubes and monitoring cables attached to a live, developing organism. Those tubes bring the nutrients, oxygen, etc needed to grow an organism and help it survive; the cables monitor everything going on inside the tank. There’s certainly a Matrix feel to it all.

While much of the technology for starting to experiment with artificially growing a human fetus already exists, bona fide human trials are likely at least a decade off, largely due to the murky legal and ethical implications of the controversial concept.

No doubt, propagating the species without the need for the human body sounds insanely far-fetched. And even if it’s achievable, there’s the question of whether people would be comfortable using it. I would argue yes, and the reasons are simple: Besides being painful, laborious, and time consuming, giving birth is still medically dangerous to mothers.

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