The new reproductive technology (NRT) is no exception any more, since Louise Brown, the first "test tube" baby, was born on 25 July, 1978 (Simmons, 2009). Before her parents Lesley Brown and John Brown met Drs Edwards and Steptoe, they had been trying to conceive a baby for nine years, but never succeeded. Because Lesley Brown was diagnosed with fallopian tubes obstruction, at that time, it indeed meant hopelessness of being pregnant without a miracle. Then the ungovernable longings for having a baby impelled Lesley Brown to participated in Drs Edwards and Steptoe's experiments. Lesley Brown was not the only volunteer during the procedure, but she fortunately became the first successful case (Deech & Smajdor，2007). At present, 4 million "test tube" babies have been born around the world（website), thanks to Drs Edwards and Steptoe's great contribution from 1977. But what if geneticists announce that genetics and traits can be predetermined for unborn babies today? Then what will parents order for their new babies? Blond hair or ruddy eyes? Bird’s wings or fish's gills? How about the mermaid’s beauty and Einstein's intelligence? Those questions need to be reflected by young generations, because that may be no longer an imagination of the future. Jeffrey Steinberg, a pioneer of in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the founder of the LA Fertility Institute as well, has already maintained in 2009 that his clinic would carry out trait-selected serves soon (Mara, 2011). Since the first efficacious treatment of infertility, IVF is still being improved. Besides, ethical and regulatory issues around this new technique never stop making controversy. This paper will briefly summarize the revolution of in vitro fertilization (IVF). After, the success rates and defect of IVF will be analyze. Finally, the ethical and regulatory issues that IVF arouse will be discussed.
in vitro fertilization (IVF) Revolution
As mentioned above, IVF is the main treatment of infertility today. It is usually carried out after all other assisted reproductive technology (ART) failed, such as IUI (inrauterine insemination) and AI (artificial insemination) (Becker, 2000). IUI and AI are done in vivo, so I will not present them in this paper. Literally, the term "in vitro" refers to a Latin term which means "within glass". The early studies about laboratory biology that interact with living organism had to be performed in glass containers. Nowadays "in vitro" is used to distinguish from "in vivo" procedure which means carrying out in the body in biological experiments (dictionary). The first test tube baby, Louise Brown, is the milepost that advanced technique can deal with the infertility problem from a female perspective that had been nagging humans for a long time. First, both being over or under weight can affect normal ovulation due to hormonal imbalances. Second, there are abnormalities in the lining of the uterus or a blockage in the fallopian tubes that block the conveyance of ova from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes. Third, in some cases, ovulation just never occurred with some women. All of these problems are really common and cause no chance for sperm to meet a ovum in the fallopian tubes (Deech & Smajdor, 2007). Therefore, gestation may never happen in some ladies' lives. Thankfully, Drs Edwards and Steptoe provided a opportunity for sperm and egg to meet and mix with each other in vitro. In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Louise Brown was the typical case of the initial IVF. This technique demands healthy gametes (egg and sperm) that can successfully be fertilized. First, mature ova or ovum from a woman's ovaries are removed outside of the body. Second, the fertilization of sperm and eggs will be done outside the woman's body (in Petri dishes with fluid medium). Then the fertile egg (zygote) can be implanted to the woman's uterus, if the egg fertilizes successfully. Finally,...