British scientist Robert Edwards, who pioneered research with his late colleague Patrick Steptoe that led to the birth of the world’s first “test tube baby” in 1978, has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for medicine. His work has made possible the treatment of infertility, a medical condition that affects a large proportion of humanity including more than 10% of couples worldwide.
Louise Brown, 32, is the first test tube baby born through the fertility treatment called in-vitro fertilisation or IVF, devised by Professor Edwards and Steptoe. Her birth on July 25, 1978, was described as “a milestone of modern medicine”. Since then some four million babies have been born using IVF.