The Artificial Womb moves forward

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A view of a fetus in an artificial womb, 1965.

Researchers successfully nurture extremely preterm lamb fetuses outside a natural womb. Photo: Fritz Goro

If you live for about 80 years, your nine months in the womb will represent less than 1% of your time on Earth. But those nine months represent a crucial period for growth and development.

Sometimes, though, babies are born before they get those nine full months in utero. And while the accepted protocol is to place premature infants in an artificial incubator — protecting the baby from infection and maintaining temperature and humidity — soon there may be better options.

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