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Fact Check-Video presenting fictional ‘artificial womb facility’ taken out of context

A video presenting a facility purportedly able to “incubate up to 30,000 lab-grown babies per year” is conceptual and has been taken out of context by some online users. The video’s concept creator, Hashem Al-Ghaili, told Reuters that the project, called EctoLife, is not currently a genuine existing facility or company.

Examples of social media posts that appear to believe EctoLife is a real, functioning facility or company are viewable (here) and Twitter (here).

The snippets come from a longer 8:39-minute video that displays animations of “growth pods or artificial wombs” on Al-Ghaili’s YouTube channel (here).

In a press-release about his concept (here), he describes himself as a “producer, filmmaker and a science communicator.”

Contacted by Reuters, Al-Ghaili confirmed that the EctoLife facility “doesn’t exist right now.”

“This is a concept and not a rea[l]-life company,” Al-Ghaili said via email.

Scientists have studied the possibility of developing life outside of the womb. One such example was research with extremely premature lambs by neonatologists at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who in 2017 described how they created a womb-like environment in an extracorporeal device to fully develop the fetal lambs (here) (here). Further reading about this and other efforts can be found (here) (here) (here) (here)

VERDICT

Missing context. The facility described in this video does not exist and pertains to a concept developed by science communicator Hashem Al-Ghaili.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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