Monday, August 6, 2007
Slate's William Saletan reports on a new scientific development:
Scientists are developing an "artificial uterus environment." Key ingredient: microchips that "rest on a membrane of cultured uterus cells," whose chemicals help fresh IVF embryos (up to 20 at a time) grow. In mice, the chip is almost as effective as a womb; it'll be tested on human embryos this year. Goals: 1) improve the success rate of IVF. 2) "create a fully automated artificial uterus in which egg and sperm are fed in at one end and an early embryo comes out the other, ready for implanting in a real mother." 3) "growing genetically modified animals, stem cells and cloned embryos." (For Human Nature's take on artificial wombs as organ factories, click here.)
Where do people get these ideas?