Katie Couric's Notebook: IVF

Like all great scientists, Robert Edwards started out with a crazy dream: That one day, he could create embryos in test tubes and use them to cure infertility.

More than fifty years later, that crazy dream, now known as in vitro fertilization, just won him a Nobel Prize.

Edwards said that the idea for IVF came to him as a young researcher in Cambridge as he watched his friends -- an infertile couple -- play with his own young daughters. Struck by their heartache, he began to experiment.

It hasn't been an easy path. Perfecting the process took decades, and he and his partner, Patrick Steptoe, faced controversy at every turn... particularly from the Church.

But Edwards was undaunted. Now 85, he's reportedly too ill for interviews, but his legacy speaks for itself.

Just ask Louise Brown, the first test tube baby, born in 1978... or the other four million children worldwide who might never have been born without him.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.