Louise Brown of the United Kingdom gave birth to the world’s first IVF baby in 1978.
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) entailed extracting the father’s (male’s) sperm and the mother’s (female’s) egg from their respective bodies and fertilizing them in a petri dish (or laboratory setup). The womb was then implanted into the womb of a female, either the embryo’s original mother or a surrogate and the baby was delivered in due course.
In 2017, scientists created a ‘BioBag’ that functioned as an artificial womb, and they used it to grow a baby lamb. Now, a new concept has been unveiled showing how the same could be done for humans.
And now the world’s first ‘artificial womb factory’ is poised to bear a baby to term in a birth pod. The technology claims to allow parents to select the qualities of their child (such as eye color, height, and strength) from a menu.
According to the film, the facility, which does not exist in reality, is intended to assist countries experiencing population reduction.
Yemeni molecular biotechnologist Hashem Al-Ghaili created the 8:39-minute animation video, which depicts EctoLife, a hypothetical artificial womb facility. The enormous laboratory has a vast number of pods, or artificial wombs, which are used to develop infants. According to the video, the facility will be powered by renewable energy.
“Ectolife allows infertile couples to conceive a baby and become the actual parents of their offspring. ” It is an ideal alternative for ladies who had their uterus surgically removed owing to cancer or other issues,” says the video’s narration.
The fictitious institution has 75 labs, each of which can house 400 growth pods or artificial wombs. The pods are intended to mimic the circumstances found within a mother’s uterus. Sensors in the growth pods will monitor the baby’s vital indicators, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing rate, and oxygen saturation.
Before the action turns to the growth pods, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is performed to develop the most genetically superior embryo using sperm and egg.
According to the concept film, ‘every trait’ of the newborn, such as hair color, eye color, height, IQ, and skin tone, can be genetically modified through a spectrum of over 300 genes.
So how are the babies grown in artificial wombs delivered? According to the concept video, parents can say goodbye to labor pain. The babies can be taken out of the artificial womb with the push of a button.
Many viewers of the film were taken aback and made comments criticizing the concept.
“I’m at a loss for words to express how horrified I am by this thought. It’s probably because I wasn’t born into the elite package,” YouTube user Susies explained.
“The world has gone nuts,” said another person.
After billionaire Elon Musk expressed concern about ‘population collapse,’ saying that if there aren’t enough people on Earth, there won’t be enough on Mars, many people chimed in with ideas for the Tesla CEO, including the use of artificial wombs that could potentially develop a fetus outside the human body.
Information on the Artificial Womb
EctoLife’s artificial womb allows your baby to grow in an infection-free environment. Every pod, according to Ghaili, is meant to mimic the precise circumstances that exist inside the mother’s uterus. Each year, a single facility can incubate up to 30,000 lab-grown newborns.
Parents and Ectolife employees will be able to examine real-time statistics on the baby’s developmental progress thanks to a sophisticated digital screen. A phone app can also be used to view the data. The sensors on the pods can monitor and display the baby’s vital signs, such as heartbeat, temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, and oxygen saturation.
The infant will hear music selected by the parents through the internal speakers of the pods.
If parents so desire, potential genetic anomalies are also detected by the AI system. The factory will be powered by renewable energy.
Each pod group is linked to two central bioreactors. One bioreactor will house a liquid solution that simulates amniotic fluid, which surrounds newborns in the mother’s uterus. The second bioreactor is intended to remove any waste materials created by newborns via an artificial umbilical cord.
How is the Baby Born in an Artificial Womb?
When the baby has reached full term, the birth process is completed with the push of a button. You will be able to effortlessly remove your child from the growing pod after releasing the amniotic fluid from the artificial womb.
According to Hashem Al-Ghaili, the brain behind this idea, it gives a solution for women who had their uterus surgically removed due to cancer or other issues, and it could also aid countries suffering from significant population loss, such as Japan, Bulgaria, and South Korea.
However, in a poll asking whether this is a good idea, nearly 80% voted against it, preferring to let nature take its course.
It can be concluded that an artificial womb can give a ray of hope to parents who are unable to conceive or carry out a pregnancy.
- The Artifical Womb, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences – (https:nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.05999.x)
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