Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards: Brave New Baby Doctors

Tall and silver-haired, with softly reassuring blue eyes, Dr. Patrick Christopher Steptoe looked as if he'd just stepped out of a Marcus Welby rerun. In fact, the kindly doctor was a medical revolutionary. On July 25, 1978, as hundreds of reporters descended on the sleepy English mill town of Oldham, the 65-year-old obstetrician delivered the world's first "test-tube baby," a healthy, 5-lb. 12-oz. girl aptly named Louise Joy Brown. Conceived in a lab dish, or in vitro, from the egg and sperm of a working-class couple who had tried for years to have a child, she seemed as miraculous as any...

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