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First test tube baby to celebrate 20th birthday
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China's first test tube baby Zheng Mengzhu will have her 20th birthday this March.

"I feel just a normal person, despite being a little bit high-tech," said Zheng on her birthday party held a few day ahead of her real birthday on Monday in Beijing.

Zheng, born on March 10, 1988 in the third affiliated hospital of Beijing University, made a trip to the laboratory of Health Science Center of Beijing University where she was "created".

"It was magic. I'm too lucky," Zheng said.

Zheng's mother Zheng Guizhen, from northwest China's Gansu Province, was 39 years old in 1988, and had tried for 20 years to become pregnant.

The test baby research started in December 1984. Zhang Lizhu, the leading doctor of the test tube baby researching team at that time, and her team spent three years on the project.

The new life turned out to be very healthy. The 52 centimeters tall new born baby weighed 3.9 kilograms.

"It was technology which endowed me with the right to be a mother," Zheng Guizhen said.

The girl was named Mengzhu as Meng indicates that she was the very first while Zhu was picked from the doctor Zhang Lizhu's name as a tribute.

Now the little baby has grown up to be a healthy beautiful little girl and went to college as an English major in Xi'an, capital of northwestern Shaanxi Province.

The world's first test tube baby was born in July 1978 in Manchester, England. When Zheng was born, over 6,000 test tube babies had been born throughout the world.

Test tube baby technology in China has been highly developed in the past two decades, said Zhang Lizhu, who was called the mother of Chinese test tube babies.

According to her, up to 2004, China had 10,000 test tube babies. Now, 130 productive centers have been built over the country, where between five and eight percent of couples cannot conceive.

(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)

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