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Frozenoj August 18th, 2012 05:26 PM

Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
Why sex could be history | Life and style | The Guardian


Here she describes the "ultimate solo parent" of the future. This woman can use her own stem cells and an artificial Y chromosome to produce healthy new eggs and sperm at any age, is capable of reproducing entirely alone by making one of her eggs behave like a pseudo-sperm that can be used to fertilise herself, and has no need to carry the embryo in her own body. Instead it gestates in an artificial womb, which acts as a highly evolved incubator. The same field of technology would enable gay couples to have children created from both their DNA, and make it just as easy for a man to become a single parent as a woman.
The article goes on to say that lactation could also be induced so that a male or female parent could breastfeed.

What do you think about this? Is asexual human reproduction, gestation independent of a human body, and the other possibilities in the article something we should strive for? If this was available in your lifetime would you use it? Can you think of any unintended consequences such technology could cause?

GSLynn August 18th, 2012 09:54 PM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
I don't mind science. In fact, it's great sometimes.

I'm a surrogate. I help create families, so I have a very open mind about science and assisted reproductive technology. HOWEVER, I do think some lines should not be crossed.

I am all for meeting sperm from a male partner with an egg from the female in a petri dish and inserting in the uterus (Basically IVF) to produce a pregnancy. I am NOT okay with all parts of IVF, though.

I do not believe that we should EVER alter an embryo, I don't believe in sex selection, I don't believe in artificial sperm or eggs, I don't believe in cloning, etc....

I believe that the balance of nature isn't really affected when all you do is take embryos that normally would be made under normal circumstances (if all parts were working correctly) but it IS affected dearly when you start using artificially made or altered DNA. I would NEVER use it. I find this unethical in so many ways, and very disturbing, actually.

The stages of true embryonic (unaltered) development are so fragile, that one wrong move, and you could create chaos. Truthfully, there are many forms of ART and some do alter the embryos quite a bit. When this happens, no one really knows the long-term effects on the child.

I wouldn't advocate manipulating nature so far off it's course like this. No way.

ETA: I didn't touch the gay couple subject. There is already more natural ways gay couples can have children. I'm betting this hugely artificial means of creating a baby would cost a lot. NO more than surrogacy does, but with surrogacy, at least the egg and sperm come fully whole from a human being, and are not partially or fully made in a laboratory.

BabyG410 August 21st, 2012 10:48 AM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
I don't think it sounds like a good idea "artificial chromosomes?" And the gene pool needs diversity to thrive, this doesn't sound like a very diverse way to reproduce if you are using your own cells to do so, more like another form of cloning.

Frozenoj August 21st, 2012 10:54 AM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
That's exactly what I thought, about the diversity issue. Family members aren't supposed to breed for a reason and I imagine using just your DNA would be even worse than siblings.

cybele August 21st, 2012 03:03 PM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech

HappyHippy August 21st, 2012 08:24 PM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
I don't think it sounds like a good idea, and no I would not partake in it. I don't have a problem with inducing lactation, man or woman, to nurse a baby/child as many already do and I've helped many adoptive mothers induce lactation. There is also a man in Canada who nurses his child (I do believe he uses a SNS system with donated breastmilk in it, while baby still suckles on the breast). I've also seen numerous pictures of men in Africa nursing (not sure if milk is coming out or not) their baby.

K.A.T August 22nd, 2012 04:20 PM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
I'm all for science and helping couples or mama's who can't conceive on their own have a baby. But when you start to go beyond creating a child and moving into modifying those embryo's I have to draw the line. That's playing with mother nature a bit too much. As for the artificial womb, I'm not sure. I know it could greatly help those who want a baby but don't want to go with a surrogate. But again, messing a bit too much with nature for my taste.

chillaxinbabe August 27th, 2012 11:08 AM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
I find it intreasting from the perspective of a gay couple being able to have a child that is biologically both of the partners. I'd love for DGF and I to have a child that shares a gentic link to both of us. Short of using sperm from a male family memeber of one of us (and having the other carry), there really is no other way for it to happen. However, as great as it would be, I'm not sure about playing with nature this much. And using all your own genes to make a kid...that doesn't sound like a good gene pool decsion.

I do wonder if an artificial womb would be helpful to premiee babies at all.

Frozenoj August 27th, 2012 01:20 PM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
Yeah I think creating a child out of two women or two men would be a great thing, but not from one person. That just seems like a bad idea.

I really wonder what impact an artificial womb would have. Babies are aware off their mother and the others around her to some extent. I can't imagine removing that connection would be a terribly good thing. But for preemies and that kind of thing it might be better than what we currently have.

sarahlorrain November 12th, 2012 02:48 PM

Re: Artifical wombs and other reproductive tech
I know this is an old post, but I had to say I wonder if children made this way would have problems having a healthy baby themselves in the future what was free of genetic problems?

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