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Nobel 2010: IVF snags medicine prize

medal_front_160.jpgRobert Edwards has won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering work in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Edwards began his work on in the 1950s, developing a procedure by which an egg could be removed from a women, fertilized and returned to the womb.

Edwards figured out when and how to retrieve eggs from the ovaries and fertilize them in a Petri dish. His work clarified the ways that eggs mature and how different hormones regulate the reproductive process. He also pinpointed the time in an egg’s lifecycle when it could accept sperm.

He then took his basic research into the clinic, where it generated a lively ethical debate. Criticism grew when the technique led to several failed pregnancies in the early 1970s, but Edwards and gynecologist Patrick Steptoe continued their work. On 25 July 1978, the first ‘test tube’ baby, Louise Brown, was born.

Since then, IVF has been developed into a safe technique that is 20-30% effective. Approximately 4 million individuals are estimated to have been born through IVF since 1978.

Edwards described the history of IVF in this Nature Medicine article in 2001. He also penned a Commentary for Nature that year, looking at the link between IVF and stem cell research.

And in 2008, Nature celebrated 30 years of IVF with a special package of articles.



  1. Report this comment

    KATHIJA.M said:



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    APalmer said:

    Congratulations! My only child was conceived using IVF. Nothing in my life has made me happier than being a father. Your contribution to science made this possible. Well done!

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    Dr Mark Downs said:

    On behalf of the Society of Biology, the UK’s single voice for biology, I would like to offer our warmest congratulations on this Nobel Prize. It is extremely well deserved and long over due.

    Dr Mark Downs, CEO

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    Carlos Nagle said:

    I think the recognition came too late. A friend of Robert, Prof. Armando Mendizabal, always fought for recognition of the magnitude of the Nobel for both Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards. Neither Patrick as deserving of the Nobel, nor Armando as a fighter for the recognition of both could live this moment.

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    S. AFSAR said:

    Congrats to PROF. Robert Edwards, suggests that great ground breaking throttle works were honored in late but precisely in his life span the man was able to achieve it also.

    Thanks to the selection committee members for it at least considering the man’s great work after a long time of its invention then.

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    NIRMALA said:

    CONGRATULATIONS PROF. Robert Edwards..

  7. Report this comment

    Samer H. Zaky said:

    Congratulations to the Leader of the desert caravan who kept forward despite the dogs’ barking. For the concurrent debates, a naive suggestion to learn from history.

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    Michael O.S said:

    Congratulations prof Robert Edwards. The discovery has brought great benefits to citizens in every continent of the world. this is true science.

    Michael O.S.

    Ibadan, Nigeria

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    Dr. IVF said:

    when doctors will be using iPads and iPhones to demonstrate to patient the procedure that they into?

  10. Report this comment

    Dr Shashank Kr Pathak said:

    Congrates!! Dr Robbert G.Edward and Nobel committee to look the significances of IVF in ART to overcome the problems of infertility.

  11. Report this comment

    Dr Shashank Kr Pathak said:

    Congrates!! Dr Robbert G.Edward and Nobel committee to look the significances of IVF in ART to overcome the problems of infertility.

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