Nobel prizewinner, IVF pioneer Robert Edwards dead

LONDON (AP) — Robert Edwards, a Nobel prizewinner who was a pioneer of in vitro fertilization, has died. He was 87.

The University of Cambridge, where he was a professor, said Wednesday that Edwards passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Together with Dr. Patrick Steptoe, Edwards developed in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which resulted in the birth in 1978 of the world's first test-tube baby, Louise Brown. At the time, the two were accused of playing God and interfering with nature.

Since then, more than 4 million babies have been born using the technique, which creates embryos in the laboratory before transferring them into a woman.

In 2010, Edwards was awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for the development of IVF. Steptoe had already passed away; the Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously.

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