General Question

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Is it possible to replicate the birthing process without it taking place within the female? Would this be possible in the future?

Asked by HolographicUniverse (1665 points ) August 5th, 2012

Creating a controlled environment and living area for the organism to thrive, mixing of chromosones, genes and other material artificially and discovering whether it can grow or not without the umbilicus being attached to another human being but being directly fed through a tube.

This is a basic idea, would something of this magnitude be plausible?

A concept I thought would be fun

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7 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

If you mean incubating human babies, anything is possible, I guess. It sounds like less fun, however, than the present method.

digitalimpression's avatar

Scientists have quite a lot to learn about genetics, dna, and the like. They’ve only just scratched the surface of a very very complicated system. It may be possible one day.. but I hope I’m long dead before that day rolls around.

ragingloli's avatar

Scientits (that was intentional, btw) could genetically engineer humans to become an egg laying species. Bigger pelvis, stretchier opening tissue, and if you are not fertilised at the moment, you have a big daily fried egg. It is absolutely perfect.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @gailcalled and besides, I am a naturalist and don’t believe in tampering with “mother” nature to an extreme. I think meddling with the natural order of things almost always carries more risk than benefit. I think there is a fine line between “advancement” and nightmare sci-fi horror.

Nullo's avatar

“But – Claude, you biologist johhnies should have worked out something better than this. Women shouldn’t have to go through with this.”
“Such as?”
“How should I know? Ectogenesis, maybe.”
“We could practice ectogenesis,” Mordan answered imperturbably, “if we wished. It has been done. But it would be a mistake.”
“Egg’s sake – why?”
“Contra-survival in nature. The race would be dependent on complex mechanical assistance to reproduce. The time might come when it wasn’t available. Surivior types are types that survive in difficult times as well as easy times. An ectogenetic race couldn’t cope with really hard, primitive conditions. But ectogenesis isn’t new – it’s been in use for millions of years.”
“No, I suppose it – huh? How long did you say?”
“Millions of years. What is egg-laying but ectogenesis? It’s not efficient; it risks the infant zygotes too hazardously. The great auk and the dodo might still be alive today, if they had not been ectogenetic. No, Felix, we mammals have a better method.”
“That’s alright for you to say,” Felix replied glumly. “It’s not your wife that’s concerned.”

…...................................................- Beyond This Horizon, chapter 14.

@moderators This is my answer.

gasman's avatar

If you mean an artificial womb (containing an artificial placenta) where development takes place from zygote to embryo to fetus to neonate, that’s pure science fiction! I guarantee nobody knows how to do that today. The fetus is exquisitely sensitive to small changes in its chemical and physiologic environment, even in a real womb. Organ engineering would have to advance greatly to make this feasible. I predict it will be centuries before there are artificial wombs and in-vitro births.

mattbrowne's avatar

Artificial wombs will become a reality within the next 20–30 years. Progress is accelerating.

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