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British In Vitro Pioneer Wins Nobel

STOCKHOLM—Robert G. Edwards of Britain won the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for the development of in-vitro fertilization, a breakthrough that has helped millions of infertile couples to have children.

"By a brilliant combination of basic and applied medical research, [Dr.] Edwards overcame one technical hurdle after another in his persistence to discover a method that would help to alleviate infertility," the Nobel Prize committee said in its award citation. "His contributions represent a milestone in the development of modern medicine."

Some might prefer fewer people in the world, or more adoptions. Others have been troubled by how the technology, put to other uses, has been used.

But surely this is a remarkable achievement which has brought millions of couples joy. The first in vitro baby gave birth naturally to a boy a few years ago.

David adds - Since the Prize was first awarded in 1901, the following Brits have been honoured for their work -

Ronald Ross 
Medicine, 1902
For discovering how malaria is transmitted and developing ways of preventing it

Edgar Douglas Adrian
 and Charles Scott Sherrington, 1932
For discovering the function of neurons in healing nerve damage

Alexander Fleming
, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, 1945
For discovering penicillin and producing it as an antibiotic

Peter Medawar and Frank Macfarlane Burnet
, 1960
For establishing the science of graft rejection and acquired immune tolerance, fundamental to tissue and organ transplants

Francis Crick
 and Maurice Wilkins, 1962
For discovering, with James Watson, DNA

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
 and Andrew Huxley, 1963
For establishing nerve action potential theory and predicting ion channels, crucial to electrophysiology

Bernard Katz
, 1970 - see more about Katz below
For discovering the fundamental properties of nerve synapses

Rodney Robert Porter
, 1972
For establishing the exact chemical structure of the antibody

Godfrey Hounsfield
, 1979
For inventing, with Allan McLeod Cormack, X-ray comuted tomography (CT scans)

John R. Vane
, 1982
For developing bioassay techniques that led to important scientific discoveries

James W. Black
, 1988
For developing beta blockers for heart disease and cimetidine for stomach ulcers

Richard J. Roberts
, 1993
For discovering, with Phillip Allen Sharp, introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing

Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies, 2007
For developing gene targeting to treat illnesses

Well done!

Note:

In his early twenties, Bernard Katz fled Nazi Germany and found sanctuary in Britain. He spent the war serving with the Royal Australian Air Force. He came back to Britain to do his scientific research. He's a brilliant example of what the Inheritance means to scientific discoveries.

UPDATE:

Another confirmation of our Inheritance principle? The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has just awarded a Dutch native and a Russian (both were born in Russia), who are working at a British university, the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery or invention of graphene, a material just one atomic plane thick with remarkable properties. 'Experiments with graphene could lead to the development of new material and the manufacture of innovative electronics.' Andre Geim is a professor at the University of Manchester, and Konstantin Novoselov, also at Manchester, holds Russian and British citizenship.

Comments (2)

jlh:

All this fuss about things like penicillin, DNA, gene splicing!

Where is the credit for the brilliant Muslim scholars who laid the foundation for the modern scientific age?

You know, the ones who started the Industrial Revolution...

KeaganF:

A pioneer within the field of fertility has been awarded a Nobel Prize. He has been credited for his role in creating in vitro fertilization, or In vitro fertilization treatments. Dr. Robert Edwards was one of the pioneers within the development of the procedure. He also assisted in implanting the first embryo via I.V.F. fertility treatments that was carried to term.

A Vatican professional has blasted the award being granted to Edwards, as there have been ethical concerns elevated over the years. The practice has significantly expanded since it first emerged within the late 1970s.

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