Google is celebrating today as the birthday of the reproductive biologist, Anne McLaren, who gave many parents a hope and blessing of a child with IVF. Dame Anne Laura Dorinthea McLaren was a British scientist, who was one of the biologists behind the development of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Her accomplishment has given thousands of people a chance on becoming parents.
Today, 26th April 2021, marks her 94th birthday, on the occasion of which, Google has paid the honorable scientist a tribute with its Google Doodle. She was born in 1927 in London, and died at the age of 80 in 2007 in a road accident.
Anne McLaren’s work in development of IVF
McLaren studied zoology at University of Oxford, and went on to work on mice to understand the mammalian development in depth. Then, in 1958, she published her paper about her success in development of mouse embryo in vitro. McLaren certainly showed the world that it was possible to create healthy embryos outside of a mother’s womb.
After that, from 1959-1974, She spent these years in studying topics related to fertility such as embryonic transfer, immunocontraception etc. Finally, by the end of 1970s, McLaren’s IVF technology came in use, which initially was ethically controversial for the people.
After that, a separate governmental body was made for the development of policies surrounding the advances in IVF technology and embryology, known as Warnock Committee. McLaren was appointed as the only research scientist of that committee.
Later, in 1990, her expert council led to the enactment of the 1990 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act. Under the act, the in-vitro culture of human embryos was limited to 14-days post embryo creation.
Honors and Legacy
Besides IVF, Anne McLaren has achieved several other honors and accomplishments. In 1991, she became the first woman to ever hold office in The Royal Society, which is known to be the world’s oldest scientific institution.
In 1993. The honorable scientist made dame on her name, for her contribution to science. The same, McLaren became the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Subsequently, in 2002, Anne received the Japan Prize, along with Andrzej K. Tarkowski for their work in developmental biology. Certainly, Anne McLaren is considered one of the most significant reproductive biologists of the 20th century.