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Surprising Science

Test Tube Baby Ethics

"Although in vitro fertilization has brought joy to many families, the Nobel Prize for its co-developer is also a reminder of the bioethical questions raised by IVF technology."

“What began as fervent protests by the Vatican against IVF—the church sees it as a sin, partly because it takes place outside conjugation—has evolved into a more complex debate as the procedure has become commonplace. These days, supermarket tabloids herald the latest in a growing string of celebrity IVF babies. Now, the 30-plus-year history of fertilizing human eggs in a ‘test tube’ (actually a petri dish) can help inform debate about emerging technologies such as cloning, longevity advancements, artificial life-forms, and even ‘designer babies.'”

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