The idea of artificial wombs is not a new thought in the minds of men, in fact the process named ectogenesis was first discussed by J.B.S. Haldane way back in 1924.
Earlier last year we reported on the first human embryos to be grown outside a womb, they were grown in a petri dish and then destroyed at 14 days for alleged ethical reasons:
‘For the first time, scientists have managed to grow human embryos to at least 14 days old inside a petri dish. Their work has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of what makes us human—and it’s the next step on the road to completely artificial, womb-free reproduction. In fact, it’s possible that these embryos might even have kept growing past two weeks, if the scientists did not have to terminate them for ethical reasons.’
Now scientists have taken it one step further and placed a premature lamb into fully synthetic womb:
Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have created an artificial womb. Inside of the womb, they placed a premature lamb fetus. They then kept the fetus in the womb for four weeks. The big question was: Would the lamb fetus survive?
Turns out, it didn’t just survive, it thrived. Over its four weeks in the artificial womb, the lamb started to grow a wool coat, gained weight, and even opened its eyes. The researchers successfully tested eight lamb fetuses this way. But growing lamb fetuses is just the beginning. [source]
If such a technology was solely used to keep premature babies alive it would be difficult to argue against such a thing, however combined with the ability to grow a fetus from a mere sperm and egg in a petri dish, the possibilities to where this could lead are quite frightening.
In fact, also consider that scientists believe human life can be formed without the need of the female egg, allowing two separate sperm to create new life and things begin to turn potentially very sinister: