British pioneer of In Vitro Fertilization wins Nobel Prize

October 4th, 2010 - 6:20 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Oct. 4 (ANI): Britisher Robert Edwards has won the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine for the development of in-vitro fertilization, a breakthrough that has helped millions of infertile couples to have children.

“His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity including more than 10 percent of all couples worldwide,” the medicine prize committee in Stockholm said in its citation.

Edwards, an 85-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, started working on IVF already in 1950s. He developed the technique, in which egg cells are fertilized outside the body and implanted in the womb, together with Patrick Steptoe, who died in 1988.

On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown in Britain became the first baby born through the groundbreaking procedure, marking a revolution in fertility treatment.

“Approximately 4 million individuals have been born thanks to IVF,” the citation said.

It added: “Today, Robert Edwards’ vision is a reality and brings joy to infertile people all over the world.”

The probability of an infertile couple taking home a baby after a cycle of IVF today is 1 in 5, about the same that healthy couples have of conceiving naturally.

Steptoe and Edwards founded the first IVF clinic at Bourn Hall in Cambridge. (ANI)

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