-->
Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Nobel: In Vitro Fertilization

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded yesterday to Robert G. Edwards, a pioneer in in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. Edwards' research and conviction that infertility could be treated, dates back to the 1950s. After years of experimenting with the fertilization of human eggs cells outside of the body, Edwards' efforts came to fruition in 1978 when Louise Brown, the first "test tube" baby, was born.


Student Study

Spearheading IVF practices and the knowledge bank from which thousands of babies have been born using IVF, one of Robert Edward's groundbreaking studies involved in-depth research into the conditions that allowed fertilization (the transfer of DNA from sperm to egg) to occur. Better understanding this process as it relates specifically to humans (and as it differs, as he discovered, from rabbits, which had been the subject of early fertilization research), paved the way for successful out-of-body human egg fertilization.

Like the transfer of DNA from sperm to egg, bacteria also transfer DNA to one another. Since bacteria are single-celled organisms, however, the process is called transformation (rather than fertilization). Students curious about the mechanics of fertilization can explore the ways in which transformation occurs, and the various conditions that positively or negatively impact the process, in Bacterial Transformation Efficiency (Difficulty: 8-10).


The Full Story

To read more about Edwards and the history of IVF research, this ScienceDaily article offers an excellent starting point.


Don't Miss

Read our other posts about the 2010 Nobel Prizes: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/blog/2010/10/nobel-news-and-student-projects-to-explore-part-1.php

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


thumbnail
Environmental conservation and energy science collide in a proposed solar power project that promises greener energy but threatens to disrupt a major migratory path for birds. Students explore with big data science.

thumbnail
Think baseball is all about runs, outs, balls, and strikes? What about physics, biomechanics, and statistics? Explore the science of baseball!

thumbnail
We go DIY with molecular gastronomy and family science as we make our own popping boba using the Spherification Kit from the Science Buddies Store.

thumbnail
The current Ebola crisis in West Africa has already topped charts for all Ebola outbreaks in history. Medical biotechnology science projects let students gets hands-on with projects that parallel real-world research and development.

thumbnail
An unusual caterpillar brings lots of "eeeews!" and one contribution to a citizen science project. Discover how anyone can collaborate on serious scientific research.

thumbnail
UC Berkeley Professor Dan Garcia talks about the kind of "drag-and-drop," block-based, snap-together programming environments that are becoming increasingly popular as a way to introduce students of all ages to code.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.