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James Brooks

James Brooks is a Volunteer Writer at BioNews. He was previously Science Editor and then Genetics Editor at BioNews and at the charity that publishes it, the Progress Educational Trust (PET). He is also Assistant Editor of Funding Insight and a reporter covering French news for Research Europe, both published by Research Professional. He began his career in journalism as a reporter for HR Grapevine Magazine, and has written for publications including the Guardian newspaper and the British Medical Journal. Previously, he studied Pharmacology at King 's College London and went on to obtain an MA in Science Journalism from City University London, where he received a commendation for most creative graduate. During his undergraduate degree, he took an extramural year at the Institut Gustave-Roussy cancer research centre, where he researched DNA topoisomerases. Before working in journalism, he spent seven years in Paris working at Euromedica and CTPartners (now part of DHR International), as a headhunter for the pharmaceutical industry.


BioNews Comment articles written by James Brooks:

Podcast: Breast Cancer Risk - Facts, Fictions and the Future

28 July 2014 - by James Brooks

Will the media be forever obsessed with cancer risk? How can we separate fact from fiction in the miles of accumulated column inches amassed by cancer stories every year?... [Read More]

Podcast: Do Genes Matter? Families and Donor Conception

14 July 2014 - by James Brooks

How has the genetics boom impacted donor-conceived people, their families and the choices they make? Does genetics really provide vital information which people need to take on board to make informed decisions? Has family law moved with the times to take new reproductive technologies and arrangements into account?... [Read More]

Podcast: Risk Management - Breast Cancer, Business and Patents

30 June 2014 - by James Brooks

Does the pharmaceutical and biotech industry's profit motive actually pervert rather than inspire innovation and the hunt for new therapies? Is the patent system well suited to a new life sciences landscape including stem cell and gene therapies?... [Read More]

Podcast: Risk Assessment - Breast Cancer, Prediction and Screening

02 June 2014 - by James Brooks

Is the benefit attributed to widespread breast cancer screening programmes supported by the evidence? What to make of the phenomenon of overdiagnosis, where patients are treated for cancers that would not have spread or been problematic in their lifetime?... [Read More]

Podcast: Relative Risk - Breast Cancer and Genetics

28 April 2014 - by James Brooks

Did Angelina Jolie's famous editorial in the New York Times a year ago inspire an overemphasis on genetic risk in breast cancer? Or has it saved lives by bringing the issue out into the open?... [Read More]

Unbroken news: non-invasive prenatal testing

07 May 2013 - by James Brooks

I know what they say about yesterday's news and today's fish and chip paper but what I'm about to tell you is six months old and still a little way off as a headline... [Read More]

Podcast: Being - The Donor-Conceived Perspective

22 April 2013 - by James Brooks

A podcast produced as part of the When It Takes More Than Two project organised by the Progress Educational Trust... [Read More]

Phenome-nal! Science PR goes for gold

28 August 2012 - by James Brooks

I'll brook no cynicism, the Olympics was a dazzling display of what makes Britain great. Which is to say: marketing, PR and weapons-grade hype... [Read More]

Genetic pseudoscience races to the bottom

26 March 2012 - by James Brooks

Newspapers overcook mediocre science all the time. You know this, I know this. All the same, a story in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago deserves special mention for its utterly uncritical reporting... [Read More]

Progress Educational Trust conference: Making the grade

12 December 2011 - by James Brooks

The third session of the Progress Educational Trust's annual conference 'The Best Possible Start in Life: The Robust and Responsive Embryo' boasted a redoubtable roll-call of eminent clinicians and researchers as speakers... [Read More]

BioNews Review articles written by James Brooks:

Book Review: Avery

10 July 2017 - by James Brooks

The chances were always slim that great art would be born of a multi-partner stakeholder engagement impact initiative, and children's picture book Avery does not beat those odds... [Read More]

Book Review: You Share Genes with Me

17 August 2015 - by James Brooks

23andMe, the biomedical wing of the industrial personal-data complex, has produced a board book for toddlers. The End Times draw near... [Read More]

Film Review: Fonzy

10 February 2014 - by James Brooks

Fonzy doesn't so much apply the formula of sperm-donor comedy 'Starbuck' as drop it like a concrete slab on an entirely different cultural context... [Read More]

BioNews News articles written by James Brooks:


Study uncovers proliferation of unapproved stem-cell procedures in US

04 July 2016 - by James Brooks

The authors of a study detailing the rapid expansion of unlicensed stem-cell therapies in the US have called on the FDA to act to stop thousands of patients being used as 'unwitting guinea pigs' for untested treatments... [Read More]

France allows export of dead man's sperm

13 June 2016 - by James Brooks

A Spanish woman has been allowed to have her dead husband's cryopreserved sperm transported from France to Spain despite a French ban on the exportation of gametes for posthumous insemination... [Read More]

IVF: the next generation – first UK baby born after DNA screening technique

09 May 2016 - by James Brooks

The UK's first baby resulting from an embryo that was screened using next-generation DNA sequencing has been born in Oxford... [Read More]

Start sex education early, fertility experts argue

18 April 2016 - by James Brooks

Primary school children should be given sex and fertility education to help them make informed family-planning choices in later life, fertility specialists in the UK have said... [Read More]

CRISPR can't cut it against HIV

11 April 2016 - by James Brooks

Scientists testing whether the CRISPR genome-editing technique could effectively kill HIV in infected cells have found that, while the approach works in most cases, it can also cement the virus's presence... [Read More]

World's simplest synthetic cell reveals gaps in genetic knowledge

04 April 2016 - by James Brooks

Scientists have designed and created a functional, self-replicating cell containing only 473 genes – the smallest genome of any organism to be grown in a lab... [Read More]

It's Dad's fault: mice 'use' genetic mutations inherited from fathers more

09 March 2015 - by James Brooks

The idea that all of us - men and women - are chips off the paternal block has been given some scientific credence by a study in mice... [Read More]

French same-sex couples allowed to adopt children conceived via IVF

29 September 2014 - by James Brooks

France's top civil court, the Court of Cassation, has ruled that children conceived via assisted reproduction overseas can be adopted by same-sex parents... [Read More]

Blood test can tell when prostate cancer drugs stop working

22 September 2014 - by James Brooks

A study where the tumour DNA of 16 prostate cancer patients was frequently checked suggests that, in some patients, commonly used anti-cancer drugs may actually boost tumour growth after a while... [Read More]

France to recognise children born via surrogates abroad

07 July 2014 - by James Brooks

France will no longer deny citizenship to children born via surrogates to French parents overseas, Minister for Families Laurence Rossignol confirmed, after a decision at the European Court of Human Rights... [Read More]




Published by the Progress Educational Trust


Public Conference
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Andy Greenfield

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Henry Malter

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross

Sandy Starr


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