The artificial womb has arrived, and it's only a matter of time before the first child is born without the help of a woman. Also known as "biobags," an artificial womb is just a huge plastic bag filled with lab-created amniotic fluid. It mimics the conditions of a real womb, and it could be used in the future to deliver human babies.
As Herald Net reports, this technology has only delivered healthy lambs so far. But researchers believe that the exact same technology could be used for human babies right now - if it were allowed. Current law prohibits researchers from experimenting on embryos 2 weeks after they've been fertilized.
So why create this technology? What's the point? The studies that surround Artificial Wombs claim that they can solve one of pregnancy's biggest issues - premature birth. If premature babies are placed in an artificial womb, it could vastly improve their chance of surviving. As Futurism reports, a working prototype of an artificial womb helped save the lives of eight lambs that were extremely premature. That same technology could be used to help human babies suffering from the same condition.
Many researchers and outspoken critics have doubts and worries when it comes to Artificial Wombs. And when you think about the possibilities, you can't deny that they have a point. Could Artificial Wombs change the face of pregnancy forever? Given the choice, would women choose to go through pregnancy in the first place if they could just leave that job to a machine instead?
And how would Artificial Wombs impact the dynamic between men and women? Ever since the first men and women procreated, there has been a deep, instinctual understanding that both men and women need each other in order to create new life. With the introduction of Artificial Wombs, that might not be true anymore. If a man can simply pay for access to an artificial womb, then he might not choose to pursue a woman in a relationship.
But on the other hand, this technology makes it easier for all types of people to have children. Gay couples, infertile people, the list goes on. The ability to have children would be at the fingertips of anyone who wanted to add to their family. Instead of getting to know someone and choosing to have a baby with them, people might simply choose to head down to the local "baby factory" in their neighborhood, sign some paperwork, and perhaps pay a fee.
What kind of impact could this have on society? What would it be like growing up as a baby, knowing that your "mother" was just a simple machine? It's a pretty mind-boggling possibility... But it might be a reality in just a few years...