Ruffenach, Stephen C.
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A test-tube baby is the product of a successful human reproduction that results from methods beyond sexual intercourse between a man and a woman and instead utilizes medical intervention that manipulates both the egg and sperm cells for successful fertilization. The term was originally used to refer to the babies born from the earliest applications of artificial insemination and has now been expanded to refer to children born through the use of in vitro fertilization, the practice of fertilizing an embryo outside of a woman's body. The use of the term in both media and scientific publications in the twentieth century has been accompanied by discussion as well as controversy regarding the ethics of reproduction technologies such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. The evolution of these terms over time mirrors the perception of our ability to manipulate the human embryo, as seen by the general public as well as the scientific community.