Recently, scientists from the Cornell University's Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility have created an artificial womb that allows embryos to grow outside the human body.

They are created with cells from the mothers' uterus, by removing cells from the endometrium and growing them on a biodegradable scaffold. The cells then grow around the scaffold, using hormones and growth factors. The scaffold later dissolves leaving the artificial uterus intact. Finally, embryos left over from in vitro fertilization are placed on the lab-engineered tissue and begin to settle.

To adhere to IVF legislation, the experiment was terminated after 6 days (the laws dictate they must be halted before 14 days).

The intent of this research is to allow women with reproductive problems to still bear children. The artificial wombs could be made from a woman's own cells, eliminating rejections.

This research does have some ethical problems. Dr Scott Gelfand, of Oklahoma State University in a statement said "some feminists say artificial wombs mean men could eliminate women from the planet and still perpetuate our species." The right wing lobby fears that this technology would allow gay couples to have children. It also has implications with working women and maternity leave.

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