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In Brief

Father of Test-Tube Baby Technology Dies

two adorable newborn babies
Do you think parents should have the option to genetically modify their unborn children?

Robert Edwards, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who developed IVF treatment, died today at the age of 87 after a long illness.

Edwards earned the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2010 for his pioneering work on in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in the 1950s. The first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978 as a result of his work, Reuters reported.

More than 5 million babies were conceived through IVF and other reproductive technologies, with between 1 and 2 percent of children born in the Western world as a result of the technique.

Edwards started work in 1955, and by 1968 he was able to fertilize a human egg in the lab. In 1980, Edwards and his collaborator Patrick Steptoe founded the first IVF clinic in Cambridge, U.K.

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Tia Ghose
Tia has interned at Science News,, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.