AI robot babysitter takes care of embryos in artificial womb

(ORDO NEWS) — Chinese scientists have developed an artificial intelligence robot nanny that monitors mouse embryos developing in an artificial womb.

In the future, technology can solve the problem of low fertility, as well as save women from having to bear a child. However, while international laws prohibit experiments on human embryos.

A team of Chinese scientists have developed a robotic system that takes care of embryos that develop inside an artificial womb. According to researchers, the technology will be able to increase the birth rate in China, which is currently the lowest in the last half century.

The development can relieve women of the need to bear a child, and the fetus will develop more safely and efficiently outside the mother’s body.

However, current international laws prohibit experimental research on human embryos older than two weeks, so the robot nanny, described in an article for the Journal of Biomedical Engineering, is still looking after a lot of mouse fetuses.

An artificial womb – or “long-term embryo culture device” – is a container in which mouse embryos grow inside a nutrient medium.

Previously, in such systems, each embryo had to be constantly monitored, documented and manually corrected during its development. This time-consuming task becomes impossible as the scope of the study increases.

The robot nanny monitors the condition of the embryos with impeccable accuracy, detecting the slightest changes. It regulates the effects of carbon dioxide and the availability of nutrients in the environment.

The system can even rank embryos based on health status and developmental potential. When an embryo is severely defective or dies, the robot tells the technician which embryo to remove from the container.

Despite the numerous legal and ethical issues associated with such experiments on human embryos, scientists believe that research into the late stages of intrauterine development is necessary, since far from everything is known about the physiology of embryonic development.

The new technology will not only answer fundamental questions, but also provide a theoretical basis for the diagnosis and treatment of congenital pathologies.

In addition, China is seeing a sharp decline in the birth rate, with the number of newborns almost halved in five years, and the net population growth in 2021 was the lowest in 60 years.

So the development of technology can solve this problem.


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