Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Nobelprize.org press release: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2010: Robert G. Edwards:
Robert Edwards is awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for the development of human in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity including more than 10% of all couples worldwide.
As early as the 1950s, Edwards had the vision that IVF could be useful as a treatment for infertility. He worked systematically to realize his goal, discovered important principles for human fertilization, and succeeded in accomplishing fertilization of human egg cells in test tubes (or more precisely, cell culture dishes). His efforts were finally crowned by success on 25 July, 1978, when the world's first "test tube baby" was born. During the following years, Edwards and his co-workers refined IVF technology and shared it with colleagues around the world.
Approximately four million individuals have so far been born following IVF. . . .
See also: NY Times Op-Ed: In Vitro Revelation, by Robin Marantz Henig:
YESTERDAY, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to a man who was reviled, in his time, as doing work that was considered the greatest threat to humanity since the atomic bomb. Sweet vindication it must be for Robert Edwards, the British biologist who developed the in vitro fertilization procedure that led to the birth of Louise Brown, the first so-called test-tube baby.
It’s hard to believe today, now that I.V.F. has become mainstream, that when Ms. Brown’s imminent birth was announced in 1978, even serious scientists suspected she might be born with monstrous birth defects. . . .
IrishTimes.com:Vatican reacts negatively to IVF pioneer's prize, by Paddy Agnew:
SENIOR HOLY See and Catholic Church figures reacted negatively this week to the awarding of a Nobel Prize for medicine to Cambridge-based researcher Robert Edwards, the pioneer of the in-vitro fertilisation process.
Although church critics acknowledged that Prof Roberts had opened a “new chapter” in the whole field of human reproduction, many commentators expressed reservations about the “ambiguous ethical” implications of his work. . . .