Categories
Loading
Welcome to Babble,
Settings
Sign Out

Get the Babble Newsletter!

Already have an account? .

In Vitro Fertilization in the News: The Nobel Prize and a New Breakthrough

In vitro fertilization

Pioneer of in vitro fertilization wins Nobel prize

Today, the 2010 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to Robert Edwards, the 85-year-old British scientist who pioneered the in-vitro fertilization technique, which has gone on to help four million women around the world have a baby.

It took Edwards and his colleague Dr. Steptoe two decades of basic biology research — studying the life cycle of the human egg and figuring out how to help egg and sperm mature and unite outside the body — to make the procedure possible. One in 10 couples has fertility problems, and the in-vitro method has been one of the most widely used and effective ways of helping them.

But when the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978, not everyone saw it as a good thing.

IVF was initially met with concern — many saw it as tinkering with nature and therefore immoral and unethical (I’m sure it initially sounded a bit sci-fi). Over time, though, research showed that babies born using the technique were healthy and it became accepted medical protocol.

Improvements to Edward’s technique are being made all the time. Today, in fact, it was announced that scientists are figuring out ways to improve the odds of IVF success. By studying the development of fertilized eggs into blastocysts (balls of cells that become embryos) they have pinpointed ways to tell which egg and sperm combos will be successful. Presumably, this will help doctors choose which ones to implant — increasing the odds of pregnancy and cutting down the need to implant multiple fertilized eggs.

It’s a good day for IVF.

Image: Buffalo News

More from Heather Turgeon:

ADHD is Genetic? Not so Fast.

Babies Sleep Through the Night Eventually, Right?

How Much Do You Pay the Babysitter? Ouch.

Genetically Modified Salmon: Why I’m Not Afraid of the “Frankenfish”

Stop Telling Me to Co Sleep

Concussions and Cars: Why Parents Worry About the Wrong Things.

Why Kids with Language Delays are More Aggressive

Top 10 Pediatric Myths

Too Many Moms Still Die in Childbirth: Report

Your Baby is About to Get Chubbier: Pediatricians Are Switching Growth Charts.

Doctors Misdiagnosed in all Cases of Infant Death From Whooping Cough

Too Much Pregnancy Weight Sets Up Babies for Obesity

Antipsychotic Medications for Toddlers?

C-Section Twice as Likely When Doctors Induce Labor.

Why I Abandoned the “Readiness” Approach to Potty Training.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrPinterest
Tagged as: ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrPinterest