Various social media are claiming that the concept of an artificial womb facility has become a reality. We fact-checked and found this claim to be False. Ectolife has indeed presented the concept of an artificial womb, but this is not a reality at present.
A social media post claims that Science Fiction has become a reality, the concept of an artificial womb. The post shares a link titled, “Concept unveiled for the World’s first artificial womb facility.”
Similarly, another video shared on Youtube is titled “EctoLife: The World’s First Artificial Womb Facility.”
What is the concept of an artificial womb facility?
The concept of an artificial womb facility refers to a machine or a pod, or a device that can be used for an extracorporeal (outside the body) pregnancy. It would grow a fetus outside the body of an organism that normally carries it to term. However, artificial womb technology has long been a subject of speculation in bioethical literature.
Is the artificial womb facility concept a reality now?
No. The technology of the ‘Artificial Womb Facility’ does not yet exist and is a mere concept as of now. Recently, Ectolife, the brainchild of a Berlin-based biotechnologist Hashem Al-Ghaili has brought the concept of an artificial womb in a pod that will help people dealing with infertility. The biotechnologist believes that intelligence, height, strength, hair, and eye colour, can be structured with this concept. Even the video shared on Youtube itself reads the closing credit mentioning the video as ‘CONCEPT BY: Hashem Al-Ghaili’.
However, this concept is not far-fetched and holds a significant possibility to become a reality in the future if ethical and legal constraints are removed.
Researchers state that in 2017, a Philadelphia research team revealed the closest thing to an artificial womb (AW), termed ‘biobag,‘ which contains a sealed bag to keep the subject, a ‘pump-less oxygenator circuit’ and umbilical cord access. However, only animal fetuses were tested.
In conclusion, we currently use partial ectogenesis when premature infants are transferred to an artificial environment to continue their development in a neonatal unit. There is no prototype of an artificial womb for humans. The technology presented by Ectolife is at a very nascent stage, and various ethical and legal issues would be considered before rushing headlong into this reproductive technology. So, the claim stands false until the concept of an artificial womb facility becomes a reality.
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