Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

The Artificial Womb Is Born And The World of the Matrix begins

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The Artificial Womb Is Born

”One by one the eggs were transferred from their test-tubes to the larger containers; deftly the peritoneal lining was slit, the morula dropped into place, the saline solution poured . . . and already the bottle had passed on through an opening in the wall, slowly on into the Social Predestination Room.” Aldous Huxley, ”Brave New World”

The artificial womb exists. In Tokyo, researchers have developed a technique called EUFI — extrauterine fetal incubation. They have taken goat fetuses, threaded catheters through the large vessels in the umbilical cord and supplied the fetuses with oxygenated blood while suspending them in incubators that contain artificial amniotic fluid heated to body temperature.

Yoshinori Kuwabara, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Juntendo University in Tokyo, has been working on artificial placentas for a decade. His interest grew out of his clinical experience with premature infants, and as he writes in a recent abstract, ”It goes without saying that the ideal situation for the immature fetus is growth within the normal environment of the maternal organism.”

Kuwabara and his associates have kept the goat fetuses in this environment for as long as three weeks. But the doctor’s team ran into problems with circulatory failure, along with many other technical difficulties. Pressed to speculate on the future, Kuwabara cautiously predicts that ”it should be possible to extend the length” and, ultimately, ”this can be applied to human beings.”

For a moment, as you contemplate those fetal goats, it may seem a short hop to the Central Hatchery of Aldous Huxley’s imagination. In fact, in recent decades, as medicine has focused on the beginning and end stages of pregnancy, the essential time inside the woman’s body has been reduced. We are, however, still a long way from connecting those two points, from creating a completely artificial gestation. But we are at a moment when the fetus, during its obligatory time in the womb, is no longer inaccessible, no longer locked away from medical interventions.

The future of human reproductive medicine lies along the speeding trajectories of several different technologies. There is neonatology, accomplishing its miracles at the too-abrupt end of gestation. There is fetal surgery, intervening dramatically during pregnancy to avert the anomalies that kill and cripple newborns. There is the technology of assisted reproduction, the in-vitro fertilization and gamete retrieval-and-transfer fireworks of the last 20 years. And then, inevitably, there is genetics. All these technologies are essentially new, and with them come ethical questions so potent that the very inventors of these miracles seem half-afraid of where we may be heading.

Between Womb and Air

Modern neonatology is a relatively short story: a few decades of phenomenal advances and doctors who resuscitate infants born 16 or 17 weeks early, babies weighing less than a pound. These very low-birthweight babies have a survival rate of about 10 percent. Experienced neonatologists are extremely hesitant about pushing the boundaries back any further; much research is aimed now at reducing the severe morbidity of these extreme preemies who do survive.

”Liquid preserves the lung structure and function,” says Thomas Shaffer, professor of physiology and pediatrics at the School of Medicine at Temple University. He has been working on liquid ventilation for almost 30 years. Back in the late 1960′s, he looked for a way to use liquid ventilation to prevent decompression sickness in deep-sea divers. His technology was featured in the book ”The Abyss,” and for the movie of that name, Hollywood built models of the devices Shaffer had envisioned. As a postdoctoral student in physiology, he began working with premature infants. Throughout gestation, the lungs are filled with the appropriately named fetal lung fluid. Perhaps, he thought, ventilating these babies with a liquid that held a lot of oxygen would offer a gentler, safer way to take these immature lungs over the threshold toward the necessary goal of breathing air. Barotrauma, which is damage done to the lungs by the forced air banging out of the ventilator, would thus be reduced or eliminated.

Today, in Shaffer’s somewhat labyrinthine laboratories in Philadelphia, you can come across a ventilator with pressure settings that seem astoundingly low; this machine is set at pressures that could never force air into stiff newborn lungs. And then there is the long bubbling cylinder where a special fluorocarbon liquid can be passed through oxygen, picking up and absorbing quantities of oxygen molecules. This machine fills the lungs with fluid that flows into the tiny passageways and air sacs of a premature human lung.

Shaffer remembers, not long ago, when many people thought the whole idea was crazy, when his was the only team working on filling human lungs with liquid. Now, liquid ventilation is cited by many neonatologists as the next large step in treating premature infants. In 1989, the first human studies were done, offering liquid ventilation to infants who were not thought to have any chance of survival through conventional therapy. The results were promising, and bigger trials are now under way. A pharmaceutical company has developed a fluorocarbon liquid that has the capacity to carry a great deal of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide — every 100 milliliters holds 50 milliliters of oxygen. By putting liquid into the lung, Shaffer and his colleagues argue, the lung sacs can be expanded at a much lower pressure.

”I wouldn’t want to push back the gestational age limit,” Shaffer says. ”I want to eliminate the damage.” He says he believes that this technology may become the standard. By the year 2000, these techniques may be available in large centers. Pressed to speculate about the more distant future, he imagines a premature baby in a liquid-dwelling and a liquid-breathing intermediate stage between womb and air: Immersed in fluid that would eliminate insensible water loss you would need a sophisticated temperature-control unit, a ventilator to take care of the respiratory exchange part, better thermal control and skin care.

The Fetus as Patient

The notion that you could perform surgery on a fetus was pioneered by Michael Harrison at the University of California in San Francisco. Guided by an improved ultrasound technology, it was he who reported, in 1981, that surgical intervention to relieve a urinary tract obstruction in a fetus was possible.

”I was frustrated taking care of newborns,” says N. Scott Adzick, who trained with Harrison and is surgeon in chief at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

When children are born with malformations, damage is often done to the organ systems before birth; obstructive valves in the urinary system cause fluid to back up and destroy the kidneys, or an opening in the diaphragm allows loops of intestine to move up into the chest and crowd out the lungs. ”It’s like a lot of things in medicine,” Adzick says, ”if you’d only gotten there earlier on, you could have prevented the damage. I felt it might make sense to treat certain life-threatening malformations before birth.”

Adzick and his team see themselves as having two patients, the mother and the fetus. They are fully aware that once the fetus has attained the status of a patient, all kinds of complex dilemmas result. Their job, says Lori Howell, coordinator of Children’s Hospital’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, is to help families make choices in difficult situations. Terminate a pregnancy, sometimes very late? Continue a pregnancy, knowing the fetus will almost certainly die? Continue a pregnancy, expecting a baby who will be born needing very major surgery? Or risk fixing the problem in utero and allow time for normal growth and development?

The first fetal surgery at Children’s Hospital took place seven months ago. Felicia Rodriguez, from West Palm Beach, Fla., was 22 weeks pregnant. Through ultrasound, her fetus had been diagnosed as having a congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation a mass growing in the chest, which would compress the fetal heart, backing up the circulation, killing the fetus and possibly putting the mother into congestive heart failure.

When the fetal circulation started to back up, Rodriguez flew to Philadelphia. The surgeons made a Caesarean-type incision. They performed a hysterotomy by opening the uterus quickly and bloodlessly, and then opened the amniotic sac and brought out the fetus’s arm, exposing the relevant part of the chest. The mass was removed, the fetal chest was closed, the amniotic membranes sealed with absorbable staples and glue, the uterus was closed and the abdomen was sutured. And the pregnancy continued — with special monitoring and continued use of drugs to prevent premature labor. The uterus, no longer anesthetized, is prone to contractions. Rodriguez gave birth at 35 weeks’ gestation, 13 weeks after surgery, only 5 weeks before her due date. During those 13 weeks, the fetal heart pumped normally with no fluid backup, and the fetal lung tissue developed properly. Roberto Rodriguez 3d was born this May, a healthy baby born to a healthy mother.

This is a new and remarkable technology. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of California at San Francisco are the only centers that do these operations, and fewer than a hundred have been done. The research fellows, residents working in these labs and training as the next generation of fetal surgeons, convey their enthusiasm for their field and their mentors in everything they say. When you sit with them, it is impossible not to be dazzled by the idea of what they can already do and by what they will be able to do. ”When I dare to dream,” says Theresa Quinn, a fellow at Children’s Hospital, ”I think of intervening before the immune system has time to mature, allowing for advances that could be used in organ transplantation to replacement of genetic deficiencies.”

But What Do We Want?

Eighteen years ago, in-vitro fertilization was tabloid news: test-tube babies! Now IVF is a standard therapy, an insurance wrangle, another medical term instantly understood by most lay people. Enormous advertisements in daily newspapers offer IVF, egg-donation programs, even the newer technique of ICSI intracytoplasmic sperm injection as consumer alternatives. It used to be, for women at least, that genetic and gestational motherhood were one and the same. It is now possible to have your own fertilized egg carried by a surrogate or, much more commonly, to go through a pregnancy carrying an embryo formed from someone else’s egg.

Given the strong desire to be pregnant, which drives many women to request donor eggs and go through biological motherhood without a genetic connection to the fetus, is it really very likely that any significant proportion of women would take advantage of an artificial womb? Could we ever reach a point where the desire to carry your own fetus in your own womb will seem a willful rejection of modern health and hygiene, an affected earth-motherism that flies in the face of common sense — the way I feel about mothers in Cambridge who ostentatiously breast-feed their children until they are 4 years old?

I would argue that God in her wisdom created pregnancy so Moms and babies could develop a relationship before birth, says Alan Fleischman, professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who directed the neonatal program at Montefiore Medical Center for 20 years.

Mary Mahowald, a professor at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, and one of her medical students surveyed women about whether they would rather be related to a child gestationally or genetically, if they couldn’t choose both. A slight majority opted for the gestational relationship, caring more about carrying the pregnancy, giving birth and nursing than about the genetic tie. ”Pregnancy is important to women,” Mahowald says. ”Some women might prefer to be done with all this — we hire our surrogates, we hire our maids, we hire our nannies — but I think these things are going to have very limited interest.”

Susan Cooper, a psychologist who counsels people going through infertility workups, isn’t so sure. Yes, she agrees, many of the patients she sees have ”an intense desire to be pregnant but it’s hard to know whether that’s a biological urge or a cultural urge.”

And Arthur L. Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, takes it a step further. Thirty years from now, he speculates, we will have solved the problem of lung development; neonatology will be capable of saving 15- and 16-week-old fetuses. There will be many genetic tests available, easy to do, predicting the risks of acquiring late-onset diseases, but also predicting aptitudes, behavior traits and aspects of personality. There won’t be an artificial womb available, but there will be lots of prototypes, and women who can’t carry a pregnancy will sign up to use the prototypes in experimental protocols. Caplan also predicts that ”there will be a movement afoot which says all this is unnecessary and unnatural, and that the way to have babies is sex and the random lottery of nature a movement with the appeal of the environmental movement today.” Sixty years down the line, he adds, the total artificial womb will be here. ”It’s technologically inevitable. Demand is hard to predict, but I’ll say significant.”

It all used to happen in the dark — if it happened at all. It occurred well beyond our seeing or our intervening, in the wet, lightless spaces of the female body. So what changes when something as fundamental as human reproduction comes out of the closet, so to speak? Are we, in fact, different if we take hands-on control over this most basic aspect of our biology? Should we change our genetic trajectory and thus our evolutionary path? Eliminate defects or eliminate differences or are they one and the same? Save every fetus, make every baby a wanted baby, help every wanted child to be born healthy — are these the same? What are our goals as a society, what are our goals as a medical profession, what are our goals as individual parents — and where do these goals diverge?

”The future is rosy for bioethicists,” Caplan says.

Perri Klass’s most recent book is ”Baby Doctor.” She is a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Total 53 comments
    • simboliza

      Wow how amazing!

      • prisonerno6

        Scary Amazing! :shock:

        • wendyvalo

          more scary than amazing

      • simboliza

        Satan Know they don’t have the time to go much further in their discoveries of creation …So this matrix thing will not go much further…No big deal :lol:

    • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th

      This is an abomination, and God the Father’s wrath will descend upon the Earth. His holy angels will shake this planet until everything is a pile of rubble. Repent now while there is still time. Jesus is Lord.

      • Ghost

        The real abomination is that once the fetus is born, none of these anti-choice types give a damn.. You start calling them welfare moms, welfare queens, and the child suffers poverty, illness, no insurance… all in the name of your god (in my opinion godlessness)

        Here’s what your mantra looks like to intelligent people.

        The Church is Running out of VICTIMS to abuse and rape.

        • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th

          Look you reprobate. Your argument is as sick and weak as you are. Life is a sacred trust given to us by God the Father. Humanity has perverted the sanctity of sexual love, killed its own young and engaged in every perversion its imagination can concoct. Now mankind fancies itself the creator of life. It will end in fire falling from the sky. And you? You are a fart in the breeze. Smells a bit, then it’s gone.

      • Templar

        Considering it’s Japan…WELL IT’S HAPPENING NOW IS IT NOT? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

      • LightandLife

        Come out of the Dark Ages… there is nothing abominable about Life and saving Life.

        • wendyvalo

          and come in the darker ones

      • We Shall Return to Emptiness

        I’m sorry to disagree with you but you definitely miss understood the concept of what God is. We were basically created by Aliens, these Aliens were created by another Aliens, and those other Aliens were created by others alien races. If you continue applying this pattern going back in time billions or trillions of years (time does exist by the way), you’ll reach a point were before any of the aliens or material life existed there was NO material universe as we know it today. There was only a different dimension populated by frequencies which were self-aware in a way. After a very long time these frequencies or THOUGHTS like i’d rather say evolved to the point where they were able to control different ranges of other non-aware frequencies and combining them with energy they created the atoms which is what constitute our material world, then our physical universe was born. Fundamentally we are creators because we ARE thoughts, because the thought is what GOD is! We do NOT have a thought we ARE it and once we think we can materialize. Thus it makes us the ultimate creators. ~This is really hard to understand and process and I do not expect you to so so. Now you can go back to your belief system and think whatever you want. Let me paraphrase you: ”…You are a fart in the breeze. Smells a bit, then it’s gone….”

        • Mirabolin

          Satan rebelled from God in disgust at man when God created the material universe.

          As punishment God made Satan the Lord of this world which Satan hated.

          Satans only escape was in encouraging in material being the need to deconstruct all material existence of meaning and the subsequent contempt for Gods creation that he has.

          Then, in destroying all material existence of love, Satan and his demons of Hell will destroy it and by so doing attempt, once again, to storm Heaven and dethrone God. :twisted:

        • Mirabolin

          By these demons of Hell I meant the obscenities of creation and experimentation that life on earth and wherever will become under Satan in order to need to destroy it and themselves so that they can storm God rather than fear him.

      • We Shall Return to Emptiness

        We were basically created by Aliens, these Aliens were created by another Aliens, and those other Aliens were created by others different alien races. If you continue applying this pattern going back in time billions or trillions of years (time does exist at this perspective by the way), you’ll reach a point were before any of the aliens or material life existed there was NO physical universe as we know it today. There was only frequencies populating a different dimension and these frequencies were self-aware in a way.

        After a very long time these frequencies or THOUGHTS like I’d rather say evolved to the point where they were able to control different ranges of other non-aware frequencies and combining them with energy (which is another frequency), the atoms were created, which is the particle that constitutes our material world. Thus, our physical universe was born. Fundamentally we are the creators because we ARE thoughts.

        Thought is what GOD is! We do NOT have a thought we ARE it and once we think, we can materialize anything, so this ability makes us the ultimate creators. We are only expressions or self-aware sub-thoughts from the oneness and this is extremely beautiful, a thought expressing itself. This is really hard to understand and process and I do not expect you to do so. This takes several years to accept and develop in your heart.

      • Mister Fred

        Man can never be a creator, but he can be a facilitator. Man has been trying through the centuries to basically band-aide the effects of sin. This is just another step of that. What doctors are currently doing nowadays would have been considered witchcraft and heresy by the church a thousand years ago. Have the religious standards for what is heretical changed for the better, or are the operations that doctors perform everyday that save peoples lives be considered heretical and an abomination against God,?

      • dead2rightz

        Fr.Duffy, you are what’s wrong with the World and Religion. Quote a book written by MAN all you like, but it doesn’t take away the fact that you have a mental disease, a childish mind that would still believe in Santa if your parents told you otherwise. Please remove yourself off the Internet and go preach your God delusion bullsh!t to a lizard in a desert, far, far, far away from modern humanity. That is all.

      • AdrianM1986

        Good to know nothing has changed with religious nutcases.

      • Anonymous

        This is why technology is always unfunded or hidden from the public, because religion forces it into retreat. Any new technological breakthroughs are considered an abomination, except the breakthroughs that may save your life? I’ve learned never to argue with a believer because it’s a never ending battle. But to just make a point, you may as well criticize those who invented the technology you are typing on right now, because they were atheists and so your computer must be an abomination also.

      • corntater

        There is no god. But you believe whatever you want to. It is people like you that make this a terrible place to live. And if your god does exist, I want no part of it. Your god is responsible for genocides. :evil:

    • Ghost

      This should make all ye anti-choice religious nuts ecstatic! No more need for an abortion..

      Relocate the Fetus, grow it into the baby, then deliver the product to the Cathylicks, the Baptists, the 700 Club…. and they can pay for the child’s upbringing!

      No abortion needed.. just MONEY..

      • DIgnified

        Can’t just stop being irresponsible beggars?

      • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th

        Give us your opinion on the Holy Spirit.

        • SayWhat?

          By your name I will say you are 69 (maybe), if you are you still have to wake the f*ck up and help us fight the fight and stop waiting for your god to come and fight your fight.

      • Pix

        They are not interested in children after they are born. Only in preventing women having any rights over their own bodies. Once the child is born it is free to starve to death, along with the other c20’000 kids who starve to death every single day. They are not pro-life in any way.

        • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th

          Pix, you continue to demonstrate to the world your utter ignorance, and the complete lack of understanding of what is at the root of abortion. It is a demonic blood sacrifice. And your effort to couch it in terms of poverty and starvation plays right into the hands of the Masonic/Illuminati elite who continue to support this slaughter. Killing a living human being in the womb has never once prevented a child from starvation, poverty or abuse. I would ask you, what do you do to alleviate the plight of children living in poverty? Just as I thought. Nothing. Just banging away on your keyboard spouting mindless drivel, right?

        • wendyvalo

          they are pro-death

        • Aster Nova

          God (according to the buy-bull) killed babies. Hundreds of them. I thought Christians were made in god’s image? :wink:

    • Wisdom

      The Nephillim have surfaced from their hiding holes to carry out their hybrid creation in rebellion against the Holy Creator of Heaven & Earth – but not for long for He is coming like a raging and devouring Lion to devour the wicked and a two-edged fiery sword comes out of His mouth to slaughter the evil ones with this His pure white shining garments of Linen will be stained with their blood like He has been crushing blood red grapes in a wine-press. Come quickly O, Yahshua(Jesus) our Savior and clean up this sin-sick-world…And so may it be.

      • Templar

        Well certainly it holds truth as to what is going on towards Japan.

    • Bendrix

      Humans, always a step too far.

    • Extraordinary Intelligence

      I love that BIN is a place for people to share information, but I really dislike that people repost stories by other reporters without proper attribution. This story is copy/pasted from the New York Times. Important and informative story.. but credit should be given to the original writer.

      • Bigs

        I gave the source of the story at the end. I do my best to do so. I repost a lot of stories I think need to be reposed especially if the story is on a site with little or no recognition or traffic. Its a way to keep stories alive especially in the mitst of a government who tries to censer speech. Particularly youtube and other major outlets.

      • Freeamerican

        Right, have to be fair to all the scum who have been lying about 911 and chemtrails for all these years. The nyt aren’t reporters they’re liars.

    • westside prepper

      the best that can happen is spend millions and millions of dollars to save one baby while they murder millions and millions all the time calling it abortion so how about stopping abortion and saving a boat load of money and doing the right thing and leave the miracle of life in gods hand

      • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th


        • Ghost

          The Church is Running out of VICTIMS to abuse and rape.

        • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th

          Hey Ghost. Are you intentionally trying to prove what a complete reprobate you are, or have you slipped into a advanced state of mental illness? The darkness you exhibit can only be described as demonic. Do you enjoy the bloodbath of abortion? Estimates are that there have been a billion abortions worldwide since 1960. I shudder to think what you will experience when you stand before Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • Fortinbras23

      Hmm, I wonder if this is how Super humans will come about….super humans go super crazy then zombies! ( seriously though, i get an odd apprehensive feeling just thinking about the possibilities) lol

    • RJ

      Anyone else notice this article was written in 1996?

      • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th

        So you can imagine how far they have advanced in this type of activity…

    • Halolmao

      More proof that We are the ONES that we have been waiting for. Christianity and Islam are false and never were true.

      • Neo

        You are your own god eh? Let’s see how that holds up in a court of law.

    • gypsy

      This article was written in 1996.

    • NEO Oracle 2016

      Matthew 24-37-39

      But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

      Mixing species will cause unspeakable mutated monsters!

    • Anonymous

      PLUS RADIATION! All experiments contaminated with radiation.

    • Daxisle


      I’ve been waiting for BIN to get a hold of this info.

      And the Neo-book burners didn’t disappoint in showing disapproval. It doesn’t matter though, your god can’t stop this, and neither can you.

      This, my friends, is Humanity finally taking evolution into its own hands. To finally acquire the ability to rid this world of the genetic abnormalities and become a more resilient species! Advanced! Stronger! Better.

      I look forward to the progress of the Artificial womb.

      • wendyvalo

        Our God,also yours,let for a while evolution in your hands and and you made an involution of it….in other words: beginning of the end look forward your end

    • JoysDivision

      Does it bother no one else this is NOT “Before News”, this is from the “New York Times.” In 1996.

      Really, folks? Google. Seriously. :mad:

    • Fat Bastard

      AWSOME!!Withe the Artificial Womb the Bussiness of Surrogate will be Gone soon.Finally will be available to get a child like we get Coke from a Soda Machine !

    • Aster Nova

      Amazing! Go Science!

    • Pascal

      This news is 17 years old and comes from a 1996 New York Times article —

    • captainentropy

      Plagiarize much? Word-for-word reprint of a 1996 article. Well, this is about as good as you can expect with this garbage site…

      • Bigs

        Its called reposting. The source is at the end of the story. It helps spread the word on stories that need to seen by the public. I can’t tell you the number of times stories that get deleted because of censorship particularly videos on the net. IE youtube

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.