Test Tube Baby Pioneer Wins Medicine Nobel Prize

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We go now to Stockholm where the first of five Nobel Prize winners was announced on Monday. The 2010 Medicine Nobel Prize went to Robert Edwards, the English pioneer in test tube babies. Here is more from our Stockholm correspondent.

At a press conference in Stockholm, the winner of the first 2010 Nobel Prize is announced.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Robert G Edwards, the English test tube baby pioneer. Edwards won the prestigious prize for developing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

The 85-year-old Cambridge professor started his IVF research in the 1950's. The in-vitro fertilization removes egg cells from a woman, to be fertilized outside her body. The cells are then implanted into the womb. This method has been very popular in treating infertility.

In 1978 the first IVF child was born, Louise Joy Brown. Since then, about four million children were born thanks to IVF. Many of them have since given natural birth to healthy babies.

The Nobel Committee Chairman for Medicine explains why it took them so long to grant Edwards recognition for his pioneering work.

[Klas Kärre, Nobel Committee for Medicine]:
"In this case we are not dealing with confirmation by simple experiments in laboratory. We had to follow the children that were actually born. These children have now been followed for twenty, twenty-five, thirty years."

Edwards was unable to receive the news of his laureate in person due to poor health.

The Nobel Prize ceremony will be held in Stockholm on the 10th of December. The English laureate will then receive a medal, a diploma and a price of almost one and half million U.S dollars.

NTD News, Stockholm, Sweden.
Cecilia Svensson

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