"How did you fit in a test tube?"*


Happy 30th birthday to Louise Joy Brown, the world's first IVF baby. Brown married in 2004 and is now a mother herself.

In the 1970s, IVF provoked a lot of moral handwringing and calls for bans on the technology. Fortunately the bioluddites were ignored. Since Brown's birth, some 3.5 million children around the world have been born by means of assisted reproduction techniques and 200,000 more join them every year.

One additional note: I suspect that enormous progress in assisted reproduction techniques has occurred because of an almost complete absence of federal government R&D funding.

*Brown told BBC Channel 4 that when she was a little girl: "The children used to ask questions like 'How did you fit in a test tube?'"