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Scientist conducting IVF research, Jesop Hospital, Sheffield, 1970.

© Manchester Daily Express / Science & Society Picture Library

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A white-coated scientist examines a test tube's contents. IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is the fertilisation of egg and sperm outside the body (hence the term 'test tube babies'. Gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and physiologist Robert Edwards worked together to produce the world's first baby born by means of IVF. Louise Joy Brown was born in Britain on July 25, 1978. This procedure is now widely available to women who, because of infertility or other problems, would otherwise be unable to conceive. The Infertility Clinic at the Jesop Hospital for Women offers a wide range of treatments, including embryo freezing, donor insemination, and interuterine insemination. Smoking is no longer permitted in research laboratories.
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