Video of a lamb fetus in an artificial womb

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We should be more open-minded about vat-grown humanity. Sci-fi authors tend to get very preachy about how wonderful it is to start life as the property of one or two randomly-selected adults, but (a) it’s not like anyone’s actually tried with the vats, and (b) not every cervix opens onto a privileged fifties sitcom childhood.

When I have my hollowed-out asteroid, I’m considering going full vat. You can’t make progress if you wave a pitchfork at every new technology that comes along.


That’s a weird way to describe suede.


Oh God, now the anti-abortion set is going to put pictures of these things on signs and cry “abomination.”


Who can forget Baby Grobags episode of MAX HEADROOM.


They’ve taken the Juicero pack idea a step to far this time. As if lobster weren’t enough.


What could possibly go wrong?


The staff takes turns selecting music to play in the lab. Wednesdays are Frank’s day. Frank is under the impression that the proper ambience for the lab is a Korean children’s choir singing Mary Had a Little Lamb in scales slightly uncomfortable to the western ear…


Little lamb, who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thou life and…

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Why you askin’?



  • Ordered online.
  • Conceived in vitro.
  • Delivered by drone.
  • Loved via likes.
  • Educated remotely.
  • Connected to thousands.
  • Acknowledged intermittently.
  • Career selected by algorithm.
  • Partnered via software.
  • Cared for by robots.
  • Died alone.
    Note¹: All references to deceased deleted due to inactivity.

I doubt it. This sounds like the kind of thing that could push “viability outside the mother” earlier and earlier, leading to a narrower and narrower window for legal abortion under Casey.


There’s a certain creepiness to this video.


Interesting that there are more and more ways to inseminate and incubate, but allowing women the choice to abstain or reject those things is still taboo.


On the other hand, if it could replace having to be pregnant, that would be great too.

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Farm-to-table is just so passé once you try blastocyst-to-sous-vide.


‘Bye baby Banting, soon you’ll need decanting’


This is basically a specialized version of ECMO, which is used for humans in certain situations when the heart needs to rest and can be stopped completely for weeks. It’s basically a heart-lung machine (although in this case the lamb heart is beating.) The general problem is that a significant amount of blood-thinner has to be added to keep the blood from clotting among the tubing or artificial blood oxygenator, and this hugely increases the risk to the patient of stroke.

I’m curious if the lambs died of cerebral hemorrhage, like most humans would after 4 weeks on ECMO. If that’s the case, then this still has a very limited application and is especially risky in light of the target patients - babies. I suppose it’s mainly a materials problem. Once we find good materials that blood won’t clot on, and isn’t prone to bacterial growth, this tech will jump ahead by leaps and bounds.

I wouldn’t necessarily trust Papa Patriarch’s House o’ Lawmakin’ and Good Old Boys to deliver on this; but it also opens the “Well, if it’s so ‘viable outside the mother’; consider it evicted.” argument:

At present, the only argument(that doesn’t immediately boil down to ‘because sluts should suffer, obviously’) in favor of allowing a fetus to remain over the mother’s objections is that you have to kill it in order to remove it. If you can just remove it, arguments for why The Sanctity of Life™, Daddy’s frustrated parental interests, etc. preclude doing so become a bit trickier to advance.

Plus, since the axolotl tanks will inevitably be fairly pricey; we’ll have an exciting chance to see who loves fetuses a whole lot when they can be made somebody’ else’s problem; and who loves them in an ‘economists talking about revealed preference’ sense. I…suspect…that more than a few people will be way less interested in fetuses that don’t include a free uterus conscript.


Yeah, something tells me the number of anti-choice folks who actually find this acceptable and will be saying something other than “force the mother to pay for all of it” will be vanishingly small.


Damn. Came to say just this.

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