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10,000 Beijingers Seek Test-tube Babies
Some 10,000 people in the Chinese capital Beijing have applied for test-tube babies, Beijing Morning News reported Tuesday.

The newspaper quoted Zhang Lizhu, a gynecology and obstetrics specialist with the No. 3 Clinical Hospital attached to Beijing University, as saying that though China had reached the world's top level in assisted reproduction technology, quite a few organizations specializing in such treatment were limited by conditions and were not offering professional services so many infertile couples could not get the help they needed.

According to Zhang, test-tube baby technology is still in great demand in China. There are 200 medical centers across the country offering infertility treatment, of which only a dozen have gained wide popularity.

Professor Zhang is from the research group that successfully developed the Chinese mainland's first test-tube baby, Zheng Mengzhu, who celebrated her 15th birthday Monday.

On March 10, 1988, the first baby conceived via external fertilization and embryo transplantation was born at the No. 3 Clinical Hospital at Beijing University.

The research group has led the country in experiments on breeding test-tube babies using donated ova or frozen embryos. At present, the Reproduction Medical Center at Zhang's hospital has become one of China's main reproductive treatment bases.

The hospital has successfully bred 1,000 test-tube babies in the past 15 years, with a 40 percent success rate.

(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2003)

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