Door to engineered humans?
Inside what look like oversized ziplock bags strewn with tubes of blood and fluid, eight fetal lambs continued to develop -- much like they would have inside their mothers.
Over four weeks, their lungs and brains grew, they sprouted wool, opened their eyes, wriggled around, and learned to swallow, according to a new study that takes the first step toward an artificial womb.
One day, this device could help to bring premature human babies to term outside the uterus -- but right now, it has only been tested on sheep.
The Biobag may not look much like a womb, but it contains the same key parts:
a clear plastic bag that encloses the fetal lamb and protects it from the outside world, like the uterus would; an electrolyte solution that bathes the lamb similarly to the amniotic fluid in the uterus; and a way for the fetus to circulate its blood and exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen.
Flake and his colleagues published their results today in the journal Nature Communications.