2007 marked a baby boomlet, with the most babies born in the United States since 1957. One of the factors behind the baby landslide is the fact that more "professional women who delayed childbearing until their 40s" are having kids, says USA Today, and at least some of those women probably had some help in the fertility department with in vitro fertilization. To mark the 30th birth of Louise Brown, the first baby who was born using IVF, Nature magazine surveyed several fertility experts for an article called Making Babies: The Next 30 Years. And what scientific advancements are these experts predicting in the baby making arena? They're forecasting that women of any age (as old as 100!) will be able to conceive, that artificial wombs will be created, that infertility will be a thing of the past, and that the price of IVF will plummet to less than $100.
Of all those advancements, I was most interested in the comments by Alan Trounson, an IVF pioneer and director of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in San Francisco. Trounson said, "I think there will be a further expansion of low-cost IVF, especially for women in developing countries who experience social discrimination with infertility. If you remove all the expensive stuff and use low-cost drugs (such as clomiphene) and remove just one or two eggs, and only transfer one embryo, it can be done for less than $100." While I'm glad that these women in developing countries will no longer face the stigma of being infertile, it was upsetting that rather than help fight that stigma, doctors just want to pump them full of fetuses instead.
Creepiest sci-fi prediction? That we won't need real people at all to make babies! Scientists are talking artificial sperm, artificial eggs AND artificial wombs. I can't wait for the army of evil artificially spawned babies to take over the nation.