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IVF inventor Robert Edwards wins Nobel

The British scientist who developed the process for creating "test tube" babies won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday.

Robert G. Edwards, who is currently a professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge in England, won the prize for his work with Patrick Steptoe to develop in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the womb, in a laboratory, to enable couples with fertility problems to have children.

Robert G. Edwards, a British physiologist and pioneer in reproductive medicine, poses in this undated handout photograph released to the media on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010. Edwards, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for developing in-vitro fertilization. (Bourn Hall via Bloomberg)

Edwards, 85, began his work in the 1950s, leading to the first "test tube baby" in 1978 with the birth of Louise Brown. Since then, an estimated 4 million babies have been born around the world using the IVF process.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Edwards "battled societal and establishment resistance to his development of the in vitro fertilization procedure."

Here's a link to the Nobel site for more details.

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute announces on October 4, 2010 in Stockholm that Robert Edwards of Britain won the Nobel Medicine Prize for the development of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Edwards, 85, began working on developing the process in the 1950s, and "his efforts were finally crowned by success on July 25, 1978, when the world's first 'test tube baby' was born," the prize jury said. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Read more on in-vitro fertilization:

Sources of info on IVF
Chat: Postponing parenthood through IVF
IVF can't reverse aging's effects
IVF offers new lab for studies
Graphic: Separating nature from nurture
Do IVF babies grow up healthy?
Technology allows choice

By Rob Stein  | October 4, 2010; 6:29 AM ET
Categories:  Nobel Prize  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Study reveals Americans' sexual activity, condom use
Next: Lack of sleep may hinder weight loss


The prize money is currently in an investment fund, and will take 9 months to mature fully.

Edwards' brother is dyslexic lab supply manufacturer. He invented the baby test tube.

Posted by: marblenc | October 4, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

There were, during - and some before, who were exploring in vitro fertilization in lesser mammals. The first recognized success was with rabbits, by the venerable pioneer, Dr.M.C.Chang, Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology. Attempts with hamsters resulted in in vitro "penetration" of ova by spermatozoa, but no further progress to cleavage and development. Rhesus monkeys, although vigorously attempted, turned out to be unsuitably difficult, and success wasn't achieved for several years (finally Dr. Barry Bavister, another native Englishman, but in the USA).
The basic aim was to achieve in vitro fertilization in humans. Consequently, It is a great tribute for all who were involved in research on fertilization mechanisms to see Dr. Edwards receive this well-earned award!

Posted by: lufrank1 | October 4, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

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