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Background

BioNews has its origins in Progress in Reproduction, the in-house journal of the Progress Educational Trust (PET) - a registered charity (number 1139856) whose Patron is Baroness Mary Warnock. Progress in Reproduction, which was published quarterly between 1997 and 2002, represented PET's first attempt at using a periodical publication to improve public and professional understanding of, and engagement with, genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas.

While Progress in Reproduction continued to appear in print, BioNews was founded by Juliet Tizzard in 1999, initially appearing as an experimental email bulletin and subsequently developing into a fully fledged email newsletter and website. Progress in Reproduction and BioNews were published in tandem for several years, but eventually the online publication supplanted its print precursor, with online publishing affording greater speed and flexibility - not to mention cost-effectiveness, always an important consideration for a small charity such as PET.

In the decade following its inception BioNews broadened and diversified both its authorship and its readership - initially under the editorship of Dr Jess Buxton, Dr Kirsty Horsey and Ailsa Stevens; subsequently under the editorship of Chris Chatterton, Dr Vivienne Raper and Dr Gabrielle Samuel; and currently under the editorship of James Brooks, Dr Rebecca Hill and Antony Blackburn-Starza; with PET Director Sarah Norcross serving as Commissioning Editor. With its news, comment and reviews, BioNews covers a wide range of public and professional viewpoints and reaches over 13,000 readers around the world. BioNews contributors and readers encompass scientists, clinicians, counsellors, policymakers, academics, ethicists, teachers, students, journalists and the broader public.

BioNews remains entirely dependent on voluntary donations and sponsorship, and we are extremely grateful to the UK Government's Department of Health and to the Wellcome Trust for their generous support, which allowed us to redevelop and relaunch BioNews on its 10th anniversary in 2009. If you would like to help keep the BioNews service freely available to all, please donate your money or time to BioNews or become a Friend of PET. If you are unable to do so, you can still help us by registering with and subscribing to BioNews, and encouraging your friends and colleagues to do likewise.

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