Thanks to the work of a group of Israeli scientists, we’re one step closer to being able to grow human babies in artificial wombs. The scientists, led by Professor Jacob Hanna, have successfully extracted 250 embryos from pregnant mice and placed them in a contraption designed to simulate the uterine wall and give the embryos the right conditions to grow.
“We have grown hundreds of mice in this way, in a method that has taken seven years to develop, and I’m still captivated every time I see it,” said Hanna, who works at the Weizmann Institute of Science, a public research university in Rehovot, Israel. “This could be relevant to other mammals, including humans, though we acknowledge that there are ethical issues related to growing humans outside the body.”
Hanna and his team have revealed their breakthrough in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, a multidisciplinary publication known for publishing the finest research from a variety of academic disciplines.
Previous experiments of this kind involved fetuses with already developed organs, such as when the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia grew fetal lambs for over four weeks in artificial wombs back in 2017. The Israel-based team started with five-days old embryos consisting of just 250 cells, placing them into a special liquid to provide nourishment.
“By day 11, they make their own blood and have a beating heart, a fully developed brain. Anybody would look at them and say, ‘this is clearly a mouse fetus with all the characteristics of a mouse.’ It’s gone from being a ball of cells to being an advanced fetus,” explained Hanna.
While this experiment certainly invokes unsettling scenes from the movie Matrix, with machines growing humans in massive quantities to extract electricity from their bodies, scientists are still a long way from applying the research to create life outside the human body. It’s even possible that the ethical issues surrounding such research will lead to its bad, or at least a heavy regulation.
UAE’s du Teams With Huawei For Net-Zero Telecom Services
The telecommunications company aims to promote sustainable development across the region.
du, one of the UAE’s major telecom providers, is boosting its efforts to help the Emirate towards a low-carbon future. The company aims to upgrade its diesel generator sites in remote communities and has ambitious plans to achieve net zero in collaboration with Chinese tech giant Huawei.
The primary goal for du is to reduce reliance on diesel generators, which in turn will cut down on maintenance costs and lower fuel consumption. Over 300 remote sites will be upgraded to advanced hybrid power solutions, lowering the company’s carbon footprint while improving efficiency and network coverage. Huawei’s hybrid generators include state-of-the-art lithium batteries and will reduce carbon emissions by over 10,000 tons – the equivalent of planting 500,000 trees per year.
“This initiative not only lowers our carbon footprint but also ensures the delivery of more eco-friendly and sustainable services to communities in even the most remote desert regions,” explained Saleem AlBlooshi, chief technology officer at du. “Our unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility reflects our determination to contribute to a greener and more sustainable future for all”.