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First extracorporeal human pregnancy

Ectogenesis is the growth of an organism in an artificial environment outside the body in which it would normally be found, such as the growth of an embryo or fetus outside the mother's body. Ectogenesis of human embryos and fetuses would require some kind of artificial uterus. An artificial uterus would have to be supplied by nutrients and oxygen from some source to nurture a fetus, and would have to dispose of waste material.

The potential development of technology allowing for humans to be created entirely ex vivo (that is, fertilisation by in-vitro fertilisation and the entire gestation of the zygote, embryo, and fetus taking place in an artificial environment) has far-reaching implications for humanity, enabling not only a dramatic change in respect of reproductive rights and neonatal medical care, but perhaps even the end of the natural human pregnancy as a cultural norm.

An early form of this technology has already been demonstrated with a mammalian model, developing a lamb fetus for four weeks, though these animals were not gestated entirely ex vivo. Here is the associated paper, 'An extra-uterine system to physiologically support the extreme premature lamb', published in Nature Communications.

This question asks: When will the first example of an entirely extracorporeal human pregnancy conclude with the 'birth' of a healthy, conscious child who lives for a period of at least one year from the date of birth?

The date we are looking to predict here is the date of the 'birth.'

By 'artificial environment,' this question refers expressly to an environment that is not any part of a mammalian body, and an environment which is not dependent upon any direct connection with any mammalian body or part thereof.

This means that the artificial uterus cannot be the uterus of any human or non-human mammal, and the artificial uterus cannot be connected to either an entire human or non-human mammal, or any human or non-human mammalian organ or organ system.

Resolution should cite credible media reports, a press release from the responsible organisation, or an article in a scientific journal.

Keyword for search: artificial womb.


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