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2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to IVF inventor Robert Edwards

(Stockholm, 4 October 2010) The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine goes to the British scientist Robert G. Edwards (born in 1925) for his research work which on 25 July 1978 led to the birth of the world's first "test-tube baby".

The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm announced its decision late Monday morning. "His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity including more than 10% of all couples worldwide." This was the reason given by the Institute.

Nobel Prize laureates receive ten million Swedish crowns (around 1.058 million euros). Last year, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded jointly to three scientists who are active in the US - Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Caro W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak - for the discovery of "how chromosomes are protected by telomeres (note: the terminal ends of chromosomes) and the enzyme telomerase (note: which extend telomeres.)". These mechanisms are important for cell ageing and the development of cancer.