Med. Weter. 76

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JAROSŁAW SOBOLEWSKI
Studies of assisted reproductive technology in the 19th and 20th centuries
Artificial breeding technology has been an important subject of research from the very beginning of medicine and veterinary sciences. Several main directions should be distinguished within these methods: artificial insemination (including cryogenic semen preservation technology), transplantation (embryo transfer) and embryo culture in vitro. The first experiments in this field date back to the late 18th century, when Lazarro Spallanzani performed such experiments on animals. The late 19th and the early 20th centuries saw the development of artificial insemination, which became a routine procedure, significantly facilitating breeding. The first successful experiments in embryo transplantation were also carried out in 1890. The high potential of this method was recognized related to the intensification of breeding for specific individual traits without limitations imposed by breeding physiology. These procedures were limited for a long time to scientific experiments and were not introduced into medical practice until the early 1970s. Embryo culture in vitro was a separate problem and an even greater challenge for researchers. Significant experimental research in this field started only in 1949 and has been continued ever since. In the 1990s, the biotechnology of in vitro embryo culture was improved to the point of becoming one of the most promising fields of veterinary and zootechnical sciences.
Keywords: veterinary science history, artificial breeding techniques, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation