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Professor Marcus Pembrey


BioNews Comment articles written by Professor Marcus Pembrey:

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Blurred boundaries – the language of DNA

08 August 2016 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

The general public have appropriated the term DNA to mean much more than just the molecule itself. This may not be a problem most of the time but, in the case of donor eggs and sperm in particular, it's important that people are clear on what genetics and epigenetics really tell us... [Read More]

An epigenetic legacy of the Holocaust?

01 September 2015 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

Human studies of transgenerational responses are fraught with difficulties, but definitely worth pursuing... [Read More]

Farewell from me and welcome to Fiona Fox

16 June 2014 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

When the Progress Educational Trust - the UK charity that publishes BioNews - emerged from the Progress Campaign for Research into Human Reproduction in 1992, I had no idea that I would end up chairing the Trustees for 20 of the last 22 years!... [Read More]

A whiff of fear down the generations

09 December 2013 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

Last week saw a lot of media interest around a US study published in Nature Neuroscience reporting the transgenerational effects of fear-conditioning in mice... [Read More]

A decade of progress and misunderstandings

28 June 2010 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

The 10th anniversary of the first draft of the human genome sequence has been characterised by justifiable celebration at the extraordinary progress in DNA sequencing technology, yet disappointment with the impact it has had on medicine to date. Is this disappointment also justified? Not really... [Read More]

Dialogue around cousin marriage is a positive step, but it must be based on fact not fiction

22 March 2010 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

A report and analysis promoting Baroness Ruth Deech's views on cousin marriage, published in the Times newspaper on Saturday, makes some serious errors and does nothing to either clarify the true health impact of cousin marriage or help couples at risk of recessive genetic conditions... [Read More]

Research into the epigenetic impact of assisted conception

18 January 2010 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

Readers will have noticed a couple of news reports and Rosalind John's excellent commentary on this topic in the last few weeks, but I make no apology for returning to the subject so soon. I believe this area of research will spark interest from the media for years to come. This is not because I fear research will necessarily uncover some unsuspected risk to the health of people born after IVF (we can't know until we do the research) but because we are ... [Read More]

What role might epigenetics have in shaping a person's development?

02 August 2009 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

Epigenetics is about the when and where of gene activity and about shaping development in response to early experience - from internal cues in the growing embryo to the prevailing physical and the social environment. So it is not surprising that discoveries in epigenetics are being enthusiastically embraced by those who find the fatalism often associated with classical genetics rather soul-destroying. But it is important not to overstate the case for epigenetics. DNA sequence, its vari

The medium is the message: assisted conception and the role of the media

08 September 2008 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

The Medium is the Message' - a phrase coined by Marshal McLuhan in 1964 - implies that the type of presentation as much as the content of the message determines what gets incorporated into personal and societal views. This 'spin' element has and continues to be a significant component in the media... [Read More]

Reflecting on the role of PET and BioNews

25 March 2008 - by Professor Marcus Pembrey

We publish BioNews issue 450 as the new UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill heads from the Lords to the House of Commons. A lot has happened in the fields of human genetics, assisted reproduction and embryo research since BioNews 400, including the rejuvenation of PET! A year on, we... [Read More]

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