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October 27, 2009

It’s a development that could take your breath away, and raises interesting and profound questions about our reproductive future.

Researchers in London performed womb transplants in five rabbits, a procedure that was successful in two of them. Similar work has also been done recently in other mammals. The surgical technique involved careful connections of blood vessels to ensure that clots cannot develop.

In another lab, four sheep have become pregnant after an autologous transplant, (where the same uterus was removed, then reconnected).  However, in the rabbit study, the transplanted uteri were from a different animal in each case.

This has actually been attempted once in a human being. In the year 2000, surgeons in Saudi Arabia attempted a live donor transplant of a womb into an infertile woman. The transplanted organ failed after just three months. However, these most recent animal results have led U.K. physicians to predict a successful human womb transplant within the next two years.

BBC World News Article

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