Have you ever imagined that an artificial uterus would be responsible for a woman's future for 10 months of gestation? If technology can really support life outside the human body, are you worried or looking forward to it?
Remember the movie "Hacker Mission", Kinulivai from the "mother" of the mechanical artificial uterus awakened scene?
Image source: Hacker mission
The artificial womb has always been one of the classic themes of science fiction, and a few days ago, the science website reported that Alan Flake, of the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, had developed an artificial womb with his team, and had a record of four weeks of developing the lamb in the artificial womb. Four weeks later, the Lamb was born from the artificial womb, and it was reported that the development of these lambs was no different from that of the normal lamb, and the groundbreaking study was published in the journal Nature Communications, a publication of the natural edition.
"I think it will revolutionize neonatal care," said a pediatrician expert in the Science report: "There's no exaggeration." 」
Currently, Flake is communicating with the FDA and is about to proceed to the next animal test. If all goes well, the artificial womb is expected to enter the human test phase after 3 years.
The news has rekindled the world's imagination and discussion of artificial womb, but it is not new for young children to grow outside the genetic mother's body.
The fate of artificial uterus and surrogate mother
1978, the first successful use of artificial insemination method, the frozen fertilized eggs implanted into the matrix, so that women who could not be pregnant can also become mothers. In the application of science and technology, this is the first fertilized egg can be separated from the genetic mother of the breakthrough, surrogacy should also be born of technology.
There are now more than 30 countries that legalize surrogacy in the world, including the United States, South Korea, Britain, Belgium, Greece, Singapore, the Netherlands and Israel, while India is now internationally recognized as a global surrogate center with high cost performance.
However, surrogate motherhood, while lifting the reproductive problems of women with a capital advantage, has also created a nexus between the commercialization of the uterus and the politics of transnational poverty.
In India, for example, surrogate maternity clinics are simply baby factories, where economic disadvantage or illiterate women's womb become the product of exploitation and profiteering, they replace the first world of women as production machines, processes may be abused or exploited, and suffer higher risk of production death in limited medical conditions.
The oppression of procreation and procreation has never disappeared, but it has been transferred from one woman to another. Thus, surrogate motherhood work, highlighting the woman's womb in the modern society of the tool, when the womb became available for purchase of goods, the capitalist Society of the exploitation of the uterus, because of pricing and become more clearly visible.
The development of artificial uterus may gradually dissolve the necessary joint between birth and mother, and become the future solution to the humanitarian crisis of surrogate labor in the world.
The artificial womb may be a new gospel for women?
As the artificial womb evolved from the imagination of science fiction to the possibility of application, the controversy that had been raised was becoming more and more intense. After the release of the artificial uterus, some people expressed optimistic expectations, of course, there are strong opposition.
The development of artificial uterus may reduce the risk of mother's production. And when women's bodies are no longer the only environment for procreation, they can gradually liberate women from the reproductive expectations and oppression of women in society.
No matter in which era, whether the biological mother or surrogate pregnant mother, the pregnancy is a solid 10 months, there is a baby growing in her body, the process has happy happiness, but also with all kinds of physical pain and burden. Until today, the production process is still full of risks for women, both mother and child are not taken for granted.
However, there are other people who believe that the emotional exchange of babies within the mother is crucial to the development of the mind, and that babies grown in artificial womb will have difficulty forming intimate relationships with their mothers.
Regardless of whether there is enough scientific basis behind the argument (after all, the human control group of artificial uterus has not yet been produced). Such concerns are reflected in the social oppression of the mother and the expectation of high standards-not only for women to be pregnant, in the process also must continue to carry on the emotional service and the labor to the body infant, more concealed the paternal role in the reproductive process, as if the birth is all the female's responsibility, and the baby mental development is good or bad by the mother fully responsible.
At this stage, perhaps we can further imagine that the artificial womb will help to relieve the current social expectations and oppression of the mother's job? The future of using artificial uterus to nurture a child's mother, society will still expect her to take full responsibility for the development of her children, because she chose the "artificial womb" rather than her own. When society is still holding unrealistic expectations and fantasies about motherhood, the artificial womb can relieve the oppression of the mother, perhaps forever a fantasy.
To be quite the truth, the sensitive nerves that the "artificial womb" provokes are not really novel, from the adoption of children, employing surrogate maternal reproductive, to the future of the "artificial uterus" may, when the science and technology step-by-step will "mother and child must be biological" to the extreme, exposing the controversy is actually people's expectations and oppression of the mother.
Don't worry, we can still think about it.
Scientists have been experimenting and studying the artificial womb for more than 20 years.
In 1993, The Times reported that Professor Mark Hansen of the University of London and the research team led by Dr. Shiro of the University of Tokyo, Japan, developed a system for simulating the uterine environment for preterm infants after 10 years of experiments.
Since then, the artificial womb has become the "fertile ground" for scientists to issue, and the media in various countries have started to talk about it.
About 2002 years ago, Dr. Liu Hongqing, a Chinese scientist at Cornell University's Center for Reproductive Medicine and infertility, presided over a pilot project that had successfully bred embryos in an "artificial womb" and had been healthy for 6 days, a topic that had also been rolled up at the time.
By the year 2017, the Philadelphia Children's Hospital team had successfully extended the gestation period of the artificial uterus to four weeks, but the researchers also pointed out that in the early stages of embryonic development, the role of the uterus was irreplaceable, and the purpose and application of the artificial womb was to maintain the life of preterm infants, Currently, the equipment of the artificial uterus cannot completely replace the uterus.
The development of the 15, so that the successful gestation period of artificial uterus more than three weeks and one day, flat, and the development of artificial uterus is not fast, to be able to fully undertake the human 10 months of gestation, the road is still very long.
But we can still imagine that, with the development of technology, perhaps one day, humans may be conceived and born from the artificial womb from beginning to end.
When that day comes, hope is not only through the support of science and technology, the human ideology can keep up with, really lift the society's reproductive oppression of female procreation.