Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Microstory 582: Artificial Gestation Perfected

For years now, people have been able to conceive children together with a surrogate mother. There are many reasons for surrogacy: same-sex relationship, infertility, or hereditary diseases that they wish to not pass on. One limitation to this, however, was that it always required a woman to carry the child. There is no more hospitable an environment for a developing offspring than that of a female’s womb. In it, the child will find everything it needs to survive the first eight months of its life, and it has historically been the only place available. Until now. Though most would take little issue in using surrogate gestation as a method, it is now possible to achieve the same results with only the two standard parents. Scientists from an extremely small startup in Carolina have recently perfected an artificial womb. Unlike other technological advancements, no version before this one was allowed to hit the market. Any failure could result in the death or permanent brain damage of a child, and so it has not been at all released until now. The team in charge had to prove with near 100% certainty that the womb would work before it can be used even once. Details are still scarce, but president and CEO of Huntington Beach Medical Technologies, Sheila Gonzales is expected to give a presentation on the womb in two weeks. For now, she had this to say, “that surrogacy has traditionally required a third party has not generally been seen as a problem. It was not necessarily something that needed to be solved. Still, Huntington is all about options. Whereas before you had no choice, now you do. You can choose to use the artificial womb...or you can choose not to.” Preordering for the product is planned for one month from now, with orders going out to the first customers in under one year, depending on demand.

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