How can an egg form a fully formed animal outside the womb but we can’t do the same with a premature human infant?


How can an egg form a fully formed animal outside the womb but we can’t do the same with a premature human infant?

In: 5

Because humans are mammals and part of what makes mammals that designation is the internal gestation.

Birds and reptiles and humans don’t have a lot in common. Our bodies have all evolved to meet different needs, and as such, they have different functions.

Because the egg contains all of the ingredients closed inside it (nutrition, really) that it needs, whereas a premature baby before certain amount of gestation isn’t developed enough to survive because they basically get their nutrition via “mainline connection” directly to moms body and receive the nutrition as mom produces it. The egg has a nutrition “bank” inside it ready to go for the full period of development. Some preemies can live and continue to grow and develop outside because their organs (stomach and lungs) have developed enough to enable them to process oxygen or formula and keep receiving nutrition to complete development outside the womb.

At some point, we might have the technology to create an artificial womb for that purpose but that’s scifi levels of progress from where we are now.

Evolution over millions of years has enabled some types of creatures to do this, e.g. birds and reptiles, mammals have not, they went down a different evolutionary track. However, we are getting closer to enabling this with artificial wombs such as in this report

It will happen and it won’t be a major scientific discovery, the ability to grow embryos outside of the womb will overlap the ability to nurture premature babies.

The egg basically *is* the womb, essentially it’s own little life support pod. For mammals our life support pod stays inside us and relies on the mothers biological processes to keep it supplied with nutrients.

To say it simply, ethics. We’ve been developing the technology to create an artificial womb for something like 70 years. It’s been successfully tested in animals. It was supposed to be ready for use in humans for premature babies a few years ago. It isn’t ready because it’s difficult to test in humans because ethics and laws. Also this technology could weaken the argument for abortion, and we can’t afford that.

Under the right conditions, you probably could sustain a human fetus outside the womb. The problem is that the research itself would be so wildly immoral and unethical, there’s no way any researchers would be allowed to conduct the experiments and trials in the first place. Lots of these restrictions are legal and ethical restrictions, not technological.