This Saturday and Sunday, students from Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) MSc – a joint venture between the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London – are exhibiting their ‘works in progress’ to the public from 12-6pm.
One particularly interesting project is focused on the future of human reproduction, and was informed by conversations with today’s cutting-edge biologists. These individuals are already investigating synthetic reproduction technologies, including Prof. Azim Surani of the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge. (See recent article about his work here)
This project imagines a not-so-distant future (2050) when technological advances (and the accompanying ethics) allow all parents (including older, infertile, and same-sex couples) to have babies with their own genes without using egg or sperm donors or surrogates through two new technologies.
For parents with difficulties conceiving naturally, IVG (in-vitro gametogenesis) will allow them to create sperms and eggs from their skin cells and choose the most robust embryo(s) to implant.
For those who cannot gestate naturally, EVE – an external artificial womb – allows parents to experience bonding with their baby throughout pregnancy, share the experience with each other, and monitor the health of the foetus.
The exhibit is at the RCA’s campus in Kensington. More information is available here: https://www.rca.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/school-design-work-progress-show-2019/
Naomi Clements-Brod is currently studying for a MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London.