No, it’s not a reproductive upgrade for your uber-1337 gaming PC. Instead, it’s a way of increasing the odds of success for in-vitro fertilization:
“The new device allows embryos created in the lab to be incubated inside a perforated silicon container inserted into a woman’s own womb. After a few days, the capsule is recovered and some embryos are selected for implantation in the womb.
Embryos incubated in the lab must have their growth medium changed every few hours to provide new nutrients and get rid of waste. The new device provides a more natural environment.”
So, while technology is an adjunct to biology in matters reproductive, the body still knows best. I wonder if we’ll ever be able to simulate biological processes that are effectively identical to the real thing ? Perhaps some new form of Sir Arthur C Clarke’s aphorism comes into effect – “any sufficiently advanced biotechnology is indistinguishable from life” … [image by aturkus]
2 thoughts on “"Silicon womb" trials to begin in UK”
I always thought the aphorism was “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – but I guess it comes down to the same thing in this case.
I know in his “Profiles of the Future” (Harper and Row, 1962) Clarke points out that organic biology is incredibly “advanced” considering what it accomplishes using relatively poor materials.
The aphorism in the post is my suggested new form, Tom, but reading it back I didn’t make that very clear – your quote of the original is correct.
Organic biology is incredibly effective while simultaneously quick and dirty, and makes me wish I’d focused in a different direction at school!
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