Misdirected science?

Wade Young, Montgomery Messenger

Here’s a scary story from the field of science: experiments at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have successfully grown mouse embryos inside an artificial uterus.
The embryos looked perfectly normal, according to the study published in the journal Nature. All their organs developed as expected, along with their limbs and circulatory and nervous systems. Their tiny hearts were beating at a normal 170 beats per minute.
Fake wombs?
Really? Why?
The scientists said this “breakthrough” will allow researchers to learn more about why pregnancies end in miscarriages or why fertilized eggs fail to implant.
Can you predict what’s next? I’m no scientist, biologist or doctor, but this feels wrong.
Dr. Hanna and his colleagues, have to-date, grown more than 1,000 embryos this way.
Apparently, the little mice embryos are growing in vials (mechanical surrogates?) attached to a wheel that slowly spins so they don’t get stuck to the wall, where they would become deformed and die. Like the way birds turn their eggs several times during the day for the same reason.
Or the way, you know, a woman moves, turns … lives.
The little incubators are connected to a ventilation machine that provides oxygen and carbon dioxide, controlling the concentration of those gasses, as well as the gas pressure and flow rate.
By Day 11, the embryos were identical to those in a real mouse. The problem with the study was the mice grew too large for their fake womb.
The scientists emphasized they are testing the fake wombs only on mice. But the work might eventually extend beyond the rodents. Two other papers published in Nature report attempts that edge near creating early human embryos in this way. Of course, a different doctor said this is years away — if it is permitted at all.
I’m so glad they aren’t considering this for humans, because there is NO possible way any of this research could ever, ever, ever advance and go wrong. (heavy sarcasm)
This “breakthrough” sounds like the embryonic stage of a true-to-life horror film. (Cue to sinister music.)
Here’s my prediction for our society 30 years from now: A young married, childless couple discusses their evening plans.
“Honey, let’s go out to eat.”
“Sure. Sounds good. Let’s take our flying drone. It’s fully charged.”
“Hey, why don’t we eat downtown?”
“That sounds lovely! Maybe afterwards, we can stop at Wanda’s Womb Emporium before they close to check on Freddie to see how he’s coming along. You know, make sure the womb is turning him regularly. I’ve heard a storm is brewing. I want to make sure their generators are functional.”
Can we say, creepy?
Why can’t scientists spend their time, money and brain cells on more important things, like figuring out how to clean the planet’s garbage problem? Or ways to make plastic degradable? Or eliminate pollution? Or cure cancer? Or feed the hungry? Or get rid of homelessness?


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