Imagine babies grown in pods with every feature custom-made. This might soon become a reality if Ectolife is successful in proving its tall claims.
Ectolife, the world’s first artificial womb facility, is being developed by Berlin-based biotechnologist Hashem Al-Ghaili.
“Introducing EctoLife, the world’s first artificial womb facility, which is powered entirely by renewable energy,” Al-Ghaili said in a statement, reported StudyFinds. “According to the World Health Organization, around 300,000 women die from pregnancy complications. EctoLife artificial womb is designed to alleviate human suffering and reduce the chances of C-sections. With EctoLife, premature births and C-sections will be a thing of the past.”
According to Al-Ghaili, the facility will also be beneficial for infertile couples who wish to conceive a baby and become biological parents of their offspring.
Additionally, women who have had their uterus surgically removed due to various reasons can also become a mother through this technique.
Also, countries facing severe population decline, including Japan, Bulgaria, and South Korea can use this technique for their betterment.
EctoLife, boasting of the ability to grow 30,000 babies a year, is reported to be based on over fifty years of research in the scientific field.
“Every single feature mentioned in the concept is 100% science-based and has already been achieved by scientists and engineers. The only thing left is building a prototype by combining all the features into a single device,” the biotechnologist said.
The scientist believes the technology will become accepted and available in the next 10-15 years if ethical constraints are lifted.
“In terms of timeframe, it really depends on the ethical guidelines. Right now, research on human embryos is not allowed beyond 14 days. After 14 days, embryos must be destroyed due to ethical concerns,” Al-Ghaili said, according to NewsFlare.
‘If these ethical restrictions are relaxed, I give it 10 to 15 years before we EctoLife becomes widely used everywhere. Add to that five years of public awareness and education to help people become more receptive to the technology,” Al-Ghaili continued.
Every growth pod or artificial womb mimics the exact conditions inside the mother’s uterus. The pods have a screen that displays real-time data that keeps track of the developmental progress of the baby. A phone app is also connected to the pod that displays the data for parents to keep track of.
“EctoLife allows your baby to develop in an infection-free environment. The pods are made of materials that prevent germs from sticking to their surfaces. Every growth pod features sensors that can monitor your baby’s vital signs, including heartbeat, temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, and oxygen saturation,” Al-Ghaili explained. “The artificial intelligence-based system also monitors the physical features of your baby and reports any potential genetic abnormalities.”
The Elite package, courtesy CRISPR-Cas 9 gene editing tool, offers parents the choice to select and customize different features of the baby such as “eye color, hair color, skin tone, physical strength, height, and level of intelligence. It also allows you to fix any inherited genetic diseases that are part of your family history so that your baby and their offspring will live a healthy comfortable life free of genetic diseases,” the biotechnologist said.