Humans Will Require Assisted Reproduction, Mechanical Wombs

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  • Certain aspects of the modern world, especially hormone-disrupting chemicals, are not only threatening sperm counts but also altering reproductive development in males and females
  • If sperm count declines continue on the current trajectory, a significant part of the global population may not be able to reproduce without technological assistance come 2050
  • Environmental chemicals that interfere with hormones — known as hormone disrupters — are at the crux of the problem; phthalates, bisphenol A, atrazine and flame retardants are among the most problematic
  • Scientists are already working on how to grow life outside of a human womb and, for the first time, grew a mouse embryo in a mechanical womb for a time period equal to a human embryo at 5 weeks
  • The researchers hope to use the mechanical womb to grow a human embryo to 5 weeks, raising serious ethical questions