Who was the first test-tube baby?

Surgery and Other Treatments Read more from
Chapter Health and Medicine

The eye’s retina is part of the brain, and the retina’s cells are derived from the optic nerve in the brain. Retinal cells and the cells that connect them to the brain are the least amenable to being manipulated outside the body.

Louise Brown, born on July 25, 1978, is the first baby produced from fertilization done in vitro—outside the mother’s body. Patrick Steptoe (1913–1988) was the obstetrician and Robert Edwards (1939–) the biologist who designed the method for in-vitro fertilization and early embryo development.

In-vitro fertilization occurs in a glass dish, not a test tube, where eggs from the mother’s ovary are combined with the father’s sperm (in a salt solution). Fertilization should occur within 24 hours, and when cell division begins these fertilized eggs are placed in the mother’s womb (or possibly another woman’s womb).


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