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.
ABB E-mobility Delivers Its Millionth EV Charger
Continued growth has been facilitated by doubling production capacity after the launch of the company’s new DC fast charger facility in Valdarno, Italy.
ABB is a leader in electrification and automation solutions and has just announced the delivery of its millionth electric vehicle charger — the latest milestone in the company’s ongoing mission to create an emission-free future using smart and reliable EV charging solutions.
ABB currently boasts a presence in over 85 markets. After the launch of the company’s new $30 million, 16,000 squared meter production facility in Valdarno, Italy, production capacity has doubled over the last two years. The cutting-edge manufacturing plant recently set a new benchmark for the EV sector, producing a fast charger unit every 20 minutes, thanks to the high-tech factory’s seven simultaneous production lines.
“While our continual investment in research and development shows our ongoing commitment to enhance the field of e-mobility, the global delivery of these solutions at scale is integral to the realization of our goals. I want to thank our customers globally for their continued collaboration in hitting this one millionth charger milestone. I look forward to the millions yet to come, and to the cleaner, greener world they will help create,” says Frank Mühlon, ABB E-mobility CEO.
In the United Arab Emirates, ABB has installed over 80 fast and high-power DC charging stations, making it one of the largest projects from a single brand in the region. The biggest station is in Yas, Abu Dhabi, and offers 20 DC fast and high-power chargers for owners of emissions-free vehicles.
“We are proud that ABB chargers are today powering electric vehicles across strategic locations in the country, including the sites of the Dubai Utility provider, DEWA, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Most of the car manufacturers and dealers in the UAE have ABB chargers in their showrooms and as well as car parking areas. We are confident ABB’s technical know-how, products, and research in the field of E-Mobility will continue to support the decision-makers in the Middle East to drive the transition to an emission-free future,” says Ahmed Abdu, E-mobility division lead, MENA region.
In addition to its Italian facility, ABB E-mobility has continued its global expansion. Earlier this month, the company announced a new United States facility that will eventually turn out over 10,000 chargers per year for the public sector, providing power to school buses and other fleets. As well as expansion into the USA, ABB E-mobility’s stake in Chinese charging provider, Chargedot, opens up another lucrative market for the EV charging giant.