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Fathers of Test-Tube Babies
Robert G Edwards, father of the first test-tube baby, and Howard W Jones Jr, the pioneer of the in vitro fertilisation programme in the US, look at the future of reproductive research.
by Lay Leng TAN

n 1978, Louise Joy Brown came into the world. Her birth would have been a non-event if not for the fact that she was conceived outside her mother’s body — in the test tube. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of two English researchers, Robert G Edwards and Patrick Steptoe, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is now a standard means of conception for many infertile couples.

The first test-tube baby has now grown up and recently married. Edwards, the proud “father,” believes the number of children conceived by IVF worldwide is fast approaching two million. He is currently chief editor of Reproductive BioMedicine Online, a web and print journal.

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