Science News cover from July 5, 1969

Seeing the coming

A synthetic womb has actually been utilized to keep some 35 fetal lambs alive for as much as 55 hours … scientists [still] need to reveal that a fetus can in fact grow, not simply make it through, in their manufactured womb … Ultimately, it may be possible to position very early babies into such a womb … to support them up until they can make it through by themselves. — Science News, July 5, 1969


Synthetic wombs that bring preemie infants to term might conserve countless infants born prior to 28 weeks in the United States each year. In 2017, scientists reported tests on a various type of womb gadget on early lambs. Unlike researchers in the 1960 s, who immersed lambs in artificial amniotic fluid in an aquarium– design setup, the current group put lambs in fluid-filled bags, sealed to minimize the danger of infection ( SN: 5/27/17, p. 6). Those lambs established typically throughout the four-week experiment. That was far much better than the average 40 hours the lambs in the ’60 s made it through prior to catching infection. Researchers intend to make such innovation all set for human beings within a couple of years.