Speed Reads

Whoa

Baby lambs survive for weeks in artificial womb in promising sign for preemies

Scientists have managed to keep prematurely born baby sheep alive for four weeks in an "artificial womb" known as a "biobag." The womb, which STAT described as a "plastic bag filled with fluid to mimic the conditions of the inside of the uterus," is being developed and tested with the hope of eventually being used to help keep prematurely born human babies alive.

Currently, infants born before 24 weeks into a pregnancy only have about a 50 percent chance of survival, and the technology used to keep them alive can cause damage. The Atlantic reported as many as 30,000 American babies are born annually before they're 26 weeks.

The lambs were delivered from the artificial womb with lung function comparable to that of lambs born naturally. "The duration of support is outstanding," said Dr. George Mychaliska, a pediatric and fetal surgeon at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Watch the astounding invention in action below. Becca Stanek