IVF Pioneer Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine

Robert G. Edwards, who is a Physiologist at Cambridge University, has won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his outstanding work on in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Louise Joy Brown was the first test-tube baby.

Jon Hamilton of NPR said initially the IVF technique was criticised by many scientists. They thought that IVF babies would be unhealthy and abnormal, but since 30 years, over four million babies have been produced successfully.

The Indian scientist Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay also produced the first IVF baby named Durga alias Kanupriya Agarwal, just two months after the birth of Louise Brown. But the West Bengal Government didn't recognise his accomplishment and set up an inquiry against him in December 1978. The dejected scientist committed suicide on June 19, 1981.

For the IVF method, Edwards used an egg from Louise Brown's mother and sperm from her father and it was fertilised in an in vitro environment. After the fertilisation, the egg was then placed in mother's uterus. Louise came into this world by C-section in the year 1978. After this successful experiment, Professor Edwards became the father of IVF.

Alan Penzias of Harvard Medical School and Boston IVF said that nowadays many couples unable to produce a child normally are opting for this method.