From foetus to full term - without a mother's touch

12 January 2015

ARTIFICIAL wombs, to bring a foetus of a human being to full term outside a woman's body, could become a reality within 20 years, scientists have predicted. This could present great advantages in the case of ery premature babies, which could be nurtured to full pregnancy term in artificial wombs, thereby reducing the risk of long-term developmental problems. Such technology might also appeal to those who cannot have children naturally, such as women with a damaged uterus or no uterus at all, or to gay couples. The need for surrogate mothers could disappear. Experiments with human embryos, mice and goats have already had some success. But the technology raises significant ethical challenges and should not proceed without full ethical debate, Frida Simonstein, of Ben Gurion University in Israel, said.