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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 Summer Science Roundup


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City parklets provide interesting challenges for engineers, designers, and planners. With software from Autodesk and a fun Digital STEAM Workshop challenge, students can design their own parklets and see what is involved in reimagining a few parking spots as a social space.

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As the number of medications continues to rise, pharmacists play an increasingly powerful role in helping ensure patient wellbeing, safety, and quality of life. Beyond an apple a day, feeling better may require advice from a pharmacist!

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Visual illusions and other optical puzzles are fun for families to share and explore. With hands-on science projects and activities, students can create and test their own visual illusions--including a cool infinity mirror!

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School and family science weekly spotlight: the science of marinades

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A fun SimCity science project from Science Buddies helps turn in-game city planning into a science experiment, one students can also use to enter the annual Future City competition.

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What do gears and tires have to do with who wins a race—or how long it takes to ride to the corner store? Find out with hands-on sports science projects that help tie science to the sports kids love to do and watch.



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!



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