Father of Test-tube Babies Robert Edwards won Nobel Prize 2010 in Physiology or Medicine

By on Oct 5, 2010 in Health, Science Comments

Robert Edwards, the British scientist who pioneered IVF, a medical technology that lead to millions of test-tube babies won the Nobel Prize 2010 in Physiology or Medicine, as announced by the Nobel committee on their website on Monday.

Through his in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy discovery, an egg is removed from a woman, mixed with sperm in a laboratory, allowed to divide for four or five days, and will be then implanted in the womb to grow into a baby.

However, although his experiments have been successful enough, the IVF treatment received a lot of opposition from some religious leaders who called it as immoral.

Some government officials even thought that it more important to limit fertility than to treat infertility.

Edwards, considered as the father of the test-tube babies, had his first test-tube baby Louise Brown, born on July 25, 1978, to Lesley and John who did not have a baby for nine years.

“Today, Robert Edwards‘ vision is a reality and brings joy to infertile people all over the world,” the Nobel Committee said in Stockholm.

According to the committee, ‘Edwards had the vision that IVF could be useful as a treatment for infertility as early as the 1950s, which affects about 10 percent of all couples worldwide’.

Robert Edwards, now 85, and a professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, had the privilege of witnessing the result of his achievements, as about 4 million test-tube babies have been born so far.

Edwards, who was born in Manchester, England, also won a prize worth 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.5 million).

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