s from the Cornell
University's Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility
have created an artificial womb that allows embryo
s 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 womb
s could be made from a woman's own cells, eliminating rejection
This research does have some ethical problems.
Dr Scott Gelfand, of Oklahoma State University
in a statement said "some feminist
s say artificial womb
s 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