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Artificial Uterus

DashingAmerican

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In a different thread, I had brought up a point about the possibility of bringing a child to term using an artificial womb. As it is the technology is still not there, but I just watched an episode of "Through the Wormhole" where a man had designed an artificial uterus to save an endangered species of shark.

An Artificial Uterus Gives an Endangered Species a Shot at Survival | Popular Science

Now granted, this is a shark, not a person, but it is a step in the direction.

Freeman: Let's say a female sperm and a male egg could be created in a lab.
Couples in any combination of genders could conceive a child.
But the fetus would still need to spend nine months inside a woman -- unless we could grow our young in an artificial womb.
We all began our lives in the same place -- a woman's womb.
It was nine months of blissful ignorance for most of us but not for our mothers.
What if women didn't have to carry the burden of pregnancy? A radical shift in reproduction is already happening.
Marine biologist Nick Otway has just brought living creatures into the world in an completely new way.
Otway: We've done something that was rather strange, rather abnormal, and challenging, too, to think about what are the implications in the future.
Freeman: Nick has built a machine that gives birth to living sharks.
Otway: We're looking at a gray box, which is actually an artificial uterus.
We shorten it to an a.
U.
, and we developed this -- designed it -- to actually take embryos out of a particular species of shark and see if we can continue their development in an artificial environment.
Freeman: Nick built his a.
U.
-- His mechanical womb -- to restore the population of the critically endangered grey nurse shark.
It was a mission that came straight from the top levels of the Australian government.
Otway: One minister actually challenged me to come up with a breeding program.
He said, "Okay, come back in six weeks, and don't tell me you can't do it.
" Freeman: Human beings have just about mastered keeping adult fish alive outside of their natural habitat by engineering aquariums.
Chemicals are balanced, ph levels kept in check, waste products cleaned out, and nutrients delivered on schedule.
But keeping fish alive that haven't been born yet is a whole new challenge.
Otway: The a.
U.
Is a small aquarium, and so you got to create the environment for the embryos.
They're delicate.
They have specific requirements, and the mother is not providing that -- you are.
Freeman: Unlike an adult fish, the needs of delicate shark embryos drastically change as they grow.
Otway: Sharks use a complex uterine fluid early on in development and subsequent -- three months into development, they switch to a seawater environment, which mum pumps in the seawater.
So we really do need to understand that complex fluid -- the composition and how we need to maintain it in an artificial environment, and that's something that's not been done before.
Freeman: Nick programmed his artificial uterus to change its chemistry from bodily fluid to seawater in line with a mother shark's natural rhythm.
Experimenting with the severely endangered grey nurse shark was too risky, so Nick calibrated the first run of his artificial womb for a more common species -- the wobbegong shark.
Otway: Wobbegong sharks are easily handled in captivity and easily maintained in captivity.
We already knew that they had actually bred in captivity.
All those things meant that we could actually have a smaller animal that we could use as a model species, and, of course, it wasn't critically endangered.
Freeman: To grow baby wobbegongs, Nick harvested the growing embryos from a pregnant female and transferred them to his artificial womb.
He kept constant watch over the tiny unborn pups, precisely managing the conditions to keep them alive.
Otway: I think you become attached to these guys.
They're sort of animals that you've taken away from mum, and you hope that nothing detrimental occurs.
Freeman: The procedure was a resounding success.
After 9 weeks, Nick's lab gave birth to Nick believes that what is possible for sharks today is possible for humans tomorrow.
It's all a matter of knowing how and when a mother's womb changes its chemical composition.
[ Crying ] Otway: I think technology has come leaps and bounds in just a few years, and around the corner, we could be looking at some major changes.
I could potentially see preterm infants possibly going back further in the preterm, but even then, I think there's still ethical questions one has to ask about it.
Freeman: Would a baby grown in a laboratory be the same as an infant nurtured inside a woman? Would society accept these children as equals to those born from a natural womb? Only time will answer the many questions of growing our young outside a woman's uterus.
We may choose to face these questions sooner than you think.


Through the Wormhole s04e06 Episode Script | SS


I just thought I'd reintroduce the question and idea. If we could birth infants through an artificial womb, how would that change abortion?
 

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In a different thread, I had brought up a point about the possibility of bringing a child to term using an artificial womb. As it is the technology is still not there, but I just watched an episode of "Through the Wormhole" where a man had designed an artificial uterus to save an endangered species of shark.

An Artificial Uterus Gives an Endangered Species a Shot at Survival | Popular Science

Now granted, this is a shark, not a person, but it is a step in the direction.




Through the Wormhole s04e06 Episode Script | SS


I just thought I'd reintroduce the question and idea. If we could birth infants through an artificial womb, how would that change abortion?

Brave New World just got one step closer to reality.
 

Fisher

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i would guess that transplants would be the more viable solution, but anything is possible. I've heard they can sometimes relocate the ovaries to a different part of a woman's body (either in the arm or under the arm--I forget which) while they are undergoing radiation in the nether regions and then move them back once the caner is gone.
 

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I just thought I'd reintroduce the question and idea. If we could birth infants through an artificial womb, how would that change abortion?

It would give women one more option, but it wouldn't be grounds for making abortion illegal, IMO.

BTW, I don't get the impression that these shark embryos were transplanted from a pregnant shark, I'm thinking they were created in the lab and then implanted into the artificial uterus.
 

DashingAmerican

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It would give women one more option, but it wouldn't be grounds for making abortion illegal, IMO.

BTW, I don't get the impression that these shark embryos were transplanted from a pregnant shark, I'm thinking they were created in the lab and then implanted into the artificial uterus.

The embryos were, in fact, removed from a pregnant female shark and put into the A.U.
 

Dittohead not!

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The embryos were, in fact, removed from a pregnant female shark and put into the A.U.

That is quite impressive.

Headline, sometime in the future:

Pro life activists get the chance to place fetuses scheduled to be aborted into AU, then raise them as their own.

Details at noon.

I wonder how many takers such a choice might have?
 

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*sigh*

Why do people think that technology and biology so seamlessly interrelate? There are constant problems with medical interventions. It's not like we would be able to safely remove a fetus that is attached to a woman's uterus and put it into a robotic uterus with ZERO risk to woman or fetus. Technological medicine is, quite frankly, barbaric.

That, and we don't know everything there is to know about human conception. It's hubris to say that an artificial womb could supply everything required to create a normal human being.

Stop watching sci-fi. We are a long way off.
 

Dittohead not!

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*sigh*

Why do people think that technology and biology so seamlessly interrelate? There are constant problems with medical interventions. It's not like we would be able to safely remove a fetus that is attached to a woman's uterus and put it into a robotic uterus with ZERO risk to woman or fetus. Technological medicine is, quite frankly, barbaric.

That, and we don't know everything there is to know about human conception. It's hubris to say that an artificial womb could supply everything required to create a normal human being.

Stop watching sci-fi. We are a long way off.

That's what we thought about nuclear submarines, back in Jules Vern's day.
 

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I just thought I'd reintroduce the question and idea. If we could birth infants through an artificial womb, how would that change abortion?

I remember bring this up a while back in another thread. As a general rule, I would say that it then gives the father more rights towards the preservation of his child. One major issue was indeed the trauma of removing the ZEF alive vs other abortion methods and I would have to concede that forcing a more physically traumatizing procedure upon the woman is not a good thing. That said, if medical technology advances to a point where the process of transfer of the ZEF from mother to AU is no more or even less physically traumatizing than the abortion procedure then absolutely the father has equal rights to the child and the mother cannot abort on a whim.
 

choiceone

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In a different thread, I had brought up a point about the possibility of bringing a child to term using an artificial womb. As it is the technology is still not there, but I just watched an episode of "Through the Wormhole" where a man had designed an artificial uterus to save an endangered species of shark.

An Artificial Uterus Gives an Endangered Species a Shot at Survival | Popular Science

Now granted, this is a shark, not a person, but it is a step in the direction.




Through the Wormhole s04e06 Episode Script | SS


I just thought I'd reintroduce the question and idea. If we could birth infants through an artificial womb, how would that change abortion?

Interesting indeed, but greynurse shark reproduction does not involve a placental biological connection to the female carrying the embryos. Rather the embryos are cannibalistic - the embryos that grow the fastest eat the others. This is really not like mammalian reproduction even though there is a form of viviparous birth.
 

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Interesting indeed, but greynurse shark reproduction does not involve a placental biological connection to the female carrying the embryos. Rather the embryos are cannibalistic - the embryos that grow the fastest eat the others. This is really not like mammalian reproduction even though there is a form of viviparous birth.

At the risk of a bad pun.... baby steps, my friend. Baby steps
 

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Women do not abort 'on a whim'. Good grief.


Haven't you actually talked to a Conservative lately ?..... They really believe that 99 % of abortions are sought out by women in their 38th week of pregnancy as an alternative to getting their nails done..........................
 

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Haven't you actually talked to a Conservative lately ?..... They really believe that 99 % of abortions are sought out by women in their 38th week of pregnancy as an alternative to getting their nails done..........................

We know statisitically over 99% of abortions are done before the unborn even have animal level mental capabilities which is around the 21 week mark which nearly all abortions are done before it even get's to that point.
 

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Women do not abort 'on a whim'. Good grief.

You know what I mean, but agreed; poorly worded. Under the conditions noted in my previous post, the decision to abort would not be solely the woman's.
 

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In a different thread, I had brought up a point about the possibility of bringing a child to term using an artificial womb. As it is the technology is still not there, but I just watched an episode of "Through the Wormhole" where a man had designed an artificial uterus to save an endangered species of shark.

An Artificial Uterus Gives an Endangered Species a Shot at Survival | Popular Science

Now granted, this is a shark, not a person, but it is a step in the direction.




Through the Wormhole s04e06 Episode Script | SS


I just thought I'd reintroduce the question and idea. If we could birth infants through an artificial womb, how would that change abortion?

I think this technology will be AWESOME if it ever comes about but for me the issue wont change much unless the transplant equal or less risk than an abortion.

the foundation of the debate is TWO lives, viability and since the ZEF resides inside the mother, the other issue is risk to her life and infringement on her rights.

So much legislation would have to be written (responsibility, when the ZEF rights trump the woman and vice versa) and the procedure would have to be well perfected before i think it would matter at all because it would be an invasive procedure and before weeks id never condone it in any situation.

Great question though
 

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I think it's pretty audacious for us to even be thinking about it when we still have IVF babies coming out disabled at significantly higher than normal rates.

What is it about us that makes us so apt to sacrifice quality for quantity, when it comes to reproduction? To be honest, I think this stuff just needs to stop. I'm with Northern; it's barbaric, and there's no sense in it. As far as I can tell, it's simply that people devalue children not genetically their own as "used," like used cars. They'd rather have sick babies than "used" babies. Coaxing debilitated gametes, shoving in different uteri, artificial wombs... for dog's sake, there's 7 billion of us, and we can't even take care of the ones that are here. Just stop.

But completely apart from that, I still don't think this addresses the entirety of why a woman might choose to abort. A lot of people abort a specific pregnancy, or don't have children at all, due to genetic issues or other ethical concerns. This would not address that, and they still have a right to determine the circumstances under which their body is manipulated.
 

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I think it's pretty audacious for us to even be thinking about it when we still have IVF babies coming out disabled at significantly higher than normal rates.

What is it about us that makes us so apt to sacrifice quality for quantity, when it comes to reproduction? To be honest, I think this stuff just needs to stop. I'm with Northern; it's barbaric, and there's no sense in it. As far as I can tell, it's simply that people devalue children not genetically their own as "used," like used cars. They'd rather have sick babies than "used" babies. Coaxing debilitated gametes, shoving in different uteri, artificial wombs... for dog's sake, there's 7 billion of us, and we can't even take care of the ones that are here. Just stop.

But completely apart from that, I still don't think this addresses the entirety of why a woman might choose to abort. A lot of people abort a specific pregnancy, or don't have children at all, due to genetic issues or other ethical concerns. This would not address that, and they still have a right to determine the circumstances under which their body is manipulated.

I'm not sure what you mean by "used" babies in this context. I know for me this issue would be about my rights as a father. On the assumption that this AU tech worked, AND the process of transfer from the mother to the AU was equal or less traumatic than the abortion, and let's throw in he assumption that I can still have children, I know that if I got someone pregnant that didn't want to keep the baby, I still would. Right now, lacking those two assumptions, I concede where the woman's rights trump mine. But once those two conditions come about, then the father's right to the child become equal to the mother's and if she doesn't want it then he as the right to it.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by "used" babies in this context. I know for me this issue would be about my rights as a father. On the assumption that this AU tech worked, AND the process of transfer from the mother to the AU was equal or less traumatic than the abortion, and let's throw in he assumption that I can still have children, I know that if I got someone pregnant that didn't want to keep the baby, I still would. Right now, lacking those two assumptions, I concede where the woman's rights trump mine. But once those two conditions come about, then the father's right to the child become equal to the mother's and if she doesn't want it then he as the right to it.

I meant that "used," as in "used cars," seems to be the same kind of mindset people often take when presented with the option of adopting a needy child, or taking their chances on the health of their own through extreme measures of fertility augmentation. They'd rather risk sick and take "used."

The man's rights don't become anything close to equal. The fact remains the ZEF is starting out in the woman's body still, and she must permit whatever way her body is manipulated.

If a pregnancy were starting out in an AU, then you would have a point. But as I understand it, we're still talking about a pregnancy starting the good ole' fashion way: inside the woman's body.
 

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I meant that "used," as in "used cars," seems to be the same kind of mindset people often take when presented with the option of adopting a needy child, or taking their chances on the health of their own through extreme measures of fertility augmentation. They'd rather risk sick and take "used."

The man's rights don't become anything close to equal. The fact remains the ZEF is starting out in the woman's body still, and she must permit whatever way her body is manipulated.

If a pregnancy were starting out in an AU, then you would have a point. But as I understand it, we're still talking about a pregnancy starting the good ole' fashion way: inside the woman's body.

That's certainly a lot more fun than simply injecting sperm into a petri dish and implanting the result in an artificial womb.
 

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I meant that "used," as in "used cars," seems to be the same kind of mindset people often take when presented with the option of adopting a needy child, or taking their chances on the health of their own through extreme measures of fertility augmentation. They'd rather risk sick and take "used."

The man's rights don't become anything close to equal. The fact remains the ZEF is starting out in the woman's body still, and she must permit whatever way her body is manipulated.

If a pregnancy were starting out in an AU, then you would have a point. But as I understand it, we're still talking about a pregnancy starting the good ole' fashion way: inside the woman's body.

I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one point. If there is no further trauma to be added onto the woman by the removal procedure vs the abortion procedure, then they had equal share in the creation and thus have equal say in the destruction, or lack thereof. If she is going to keep it dispite his not wanting to, she has the current custody and thus final say. If neither wants it, no issues at all. But if she doesn't want it, while it is her right to have it removed, he gets a chance to keep it even if she doesn't want it to remain viable. Again the key here is that the removal procedure is of equal or less trauma than the abortion procedure.
 

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Do you have another source for that? I didn't see anything in this article stating that.

At the moment I can't really prove it, other than to say that I watched the episode. Will look for more sources.
 

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*sigh*

Why do people think that technology and biology so seamlessly interrelate? There are constant problems with medical interventions. It's not like we would be able to safely remove a fetus that is attached to a woman's uterus and put it into a robotic uterus with ZERO risk to woman or fetus. Technological medicine is, quite frankly, barbaric.

That, and we don't know everything there is to know about human conception. It's hubris to say that an artificial womb could supply everything required to create a normal human being.

Stop watching sci-fi. We are a long way off.

First of all it was Through the Wormhole narrated by Morgan Freeman, a very liberal actor, on the Science channel, not the sci-fi channel. Secondly, when I brought up the idea of this in the original thread even the idea of performing this operation on a shark was unheard of. Granted, while we are a long way off from being able to perform this on people, it is a step in the well needed direction.
 

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I would think that the development of an artificial uterus would do nothing to the issue of abortion. A woman is not likely to give up a fetus to be brought to term by the father and be subjected to the same legal responsibilities that fathers are when the woman they impregnate brings to term a child the man didn't want. Likewise, what would be the legal and medical process for the transfer.

What this may do, however, is provide sometime in the future for men to have children without the need for a woman, just the eggs, similar to women having children without the need for a man, just the sperm. I can think of many men who'd think it was awesome to be able to have a child without the baggage of needing a woman to carry the child to term and all the emotional and legal messiness that can entail. And let's not forget gay male couples too - no more need for adoption or surrogates.
 
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