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Artificial Womb Developed

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of NBC

Elizabeth Hughes, Staff Writer

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Scientific breakthroughs have significantly improved the quality of life of humans and have saved the lives of individuals who previously had little hope; the latest medical advance is very likely to do just that. An artificial womb has been created to house premature lambs for four weeks, in which they can continue their development. The womb resembles a plastic bag and mimics the conditions of a mother’s womb as closely as possible by containing amniotic fluid, delivering oxygen, and exchanging gases to the fetus. This technology is being developed with the hopes of applying it to premature human babies one day. Premature lambs were chosen for this study because they develop similarly to human fetuses in the womb.

Should the technology be successful, it has the potential of saving many lives. According to The Center for Fetal Research, one in ten U.S. births are premature. Globally, an estimated one million babies die each year due to preterm birth. In addition, those who were born prematurely are significantly more likely to suffer from long-term health conditions, including asthma, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cerebral palsy, among others.

Senior Saniya Ahmed was hopeful for the new advance, “This is kind of personal to me because my little brother was born premature. Thankfully, he was okay, but many babies aren’t. So I am very excited for this technology and I hope it comes through.” However, if you are anxiously waiting for this technology, you may be a little disappointed, as it will not come into medical practice anytime soon. Unfortunately, this process could likely take over 20 years; but it still offers a glimpse of hope to those affected by the tragedy that is preterm birth.

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Artificial Womb Developed