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Annabel Slater

Annabel Slater is a Volunteer Writer at BioNews. She was previously Genetics Editor at BioNews and at the charity that publishes it, the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and also edited Science for Environment Policy, a news and information service of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment. She originally studied Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford, and went on to obtain an MSc in Science Media Production from Imperial College London. She has been a researcher for the BBC and ITV, has produced short films about bio-art, and has developed virtual science laboratories for the educational company Labster. She has a particularly interest in synthetic biology and genome editing, and she tweets as @Scient_Art

BioNews Comment articles written by Annabel Slater:
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Advances in Assisted Reproduction: What Can We Expect?
11 October 2021 - by Annabel Slater
Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Educational Trust, invited the audience of the event to consider where assisted reproductive technologies stood 55 years ago... [Read More]
The Health of IVF Babies: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Find Out?
1 March 2021 - by Annabel Slater
In 1978, in the run-up to the birth of Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, the media speculated greatly over whether she would be normal. 'Had there been anything at all wrong with me,' Brown has reflected, 'I think it would have been the end of IVF'... [Read More]
Examining the Evidence: Can COVID-19 Affect Fertility? Can It Affect the Fetus?
21 December 2020 - by Annabel Slater
The second session at the Progress Educational Trust conference 'Fertility, Genomics and COVID-19' cast an expert look at whether COVID-19 affects fertility, and the health of a developing fetus... [Read More]
Age-Old Question: Exploring Fertility and Ageing
26 October 2020 - by Annabel Slater
'Age and fertility - a topic that never gets old', said Sarah Norcross, excusing herself for the pun, as host at the latest PET event... [Read More]
Frozen Fertility: The Challenges of Storing Eggs, Sperm and Embryos
27 January 2020 - by Annabel Slater
The legislation surrounding gamete freezing is complicated and difficult to comprehend, even for people with law degrees. The Progress Educational Trust's latest event 'Frozen Fertility: The Challenges of Storing Eggs, Sperm and Embryos', held at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, set out to explore the current state of play... [Read More]
Whose genome is it anyway? Big Data and your DNA
15 October 2018 - by Annabel Slater
DNA is effectively data. If we are concerned about the data stored on our phones and computers, on social media sites and government servers, should we extend our concern to our DNA? ... [Read More]
From acupuncture to yoga: Can lifestyle choices improve the odds of IVF working for you?
25 June 2018 - by Annabel Slater
'Those of us who work in infertility are not going to go out of business anytime soon,' commented Professor Richard Anderson, at the University of Edinburgh, at the Progress Educational Trust's (PET's) latest event, 'From Acupuncture to Yoga: Can Lifestyle Choices Improve the Odds of IVF Working for You?'... [Read More]
Time waits for no man: the impact of age on male fertility
21 May 2018 - by Annabel Slater
It's a first for the Progress Educational Trust - an event dedicated solely to male fertility: Time Waits for No Man... [Read More]
Genome editing: CRISPR at the cutting edge
23 January 2017 - by Annabel Slater
The fourth session of the Progress Educational Trust's annual conference 'Rethinking the Ethics of Embryo Research: Genome Editing, 14 Days and Beyond' delved into the new genome-editing technique CRISPR/Cas9 and what it means for embryo research... [Read More]

BioNews Review articles written by Annabel Slater:
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Book Review: Dark Lullaby
19 July 2021 - by Annabel Slater
Dark Lullaby, by Polly Ho-Yen, is a story about a dystopian society suffering mass, unexplained infertility. Yet I found the premise and world, even for a dystopia, somewhat unsatisfying... [Read More]
Podcast Review: Donor 9623
12 October 2020 - by Annabel Slater
Xytex is a major sperm bank based in Atlanta, Georgia. Donor 9623 was one of their star offerings, a sperm donor with an irresistible description... [Read More]
Book Review: In Vitro
22 June 2020 - by Annabel Slater
In Vitro is a graphic novel written by William Roy, telling the story of a couple’s journey to and through IVF treatment, from the perspective of the would-be father... [Read More]
Book Review: The Farm
29 July 2019 - by Annabel Slater
Wealth buys everything. Joanne Ramos' novel The Farm paints a vision of commercial surrogacy unfettered and taken to its extreme: high-end surrogacy for the rich. In her story, not only can the rich and successful outsource childcare to nannies and au pairs, but they can also purchase the bodies of young women to gestate their embryos... [Read More]
TV Review: The Handmaid's Tale, Season 2
5 November 2018 - by Annabel Slater
The Handmaid's Tale portrays a societal response to infertility taken to the darkest of extremes. After watching the two seasons of it, I am struggling to link it to today's world without getting on my soapbox to protest for women's rights and the importance of a secular state... [Read More]
Theatre Review: Egg – Edinburgh Fringe
3 September 2018 - by Annabel Slater
An evocative and arresting sight hung suspended at the entrance to Egg. Sarah Bebe Holmes lay coiled inside a clear plastic bag of water, eyes closed, delicately moving her fists like a fetus in the womb... [Read More]
Book Review: A Crack in Creation - Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution
21 August 2017 - by Annabel Slater
I'm glad to see a scientist engaging so strongly in public debate about the use of technology, rather than speculating on the sidelines... [Read More]
Event Review: Jennifer Doudna talks to Adam Rutherford
3 July 2017 - by Annabel Slater
'This technology really gets the imagination going. It's almost anything that you could imagine wanting to control at the level of genetics, is now in principle within reach.' And the power to control evolution raises important questions of responsibility. This is the message of Professor Jennifer Doudna... [Read More]
Radio Review: Seriously - The Great Egg Freeze
10 April 2017 - by Annabel Slater
The contradictions of the burgeoning egg freezing industry are lucidly demonstrated out in The Great Egg Freeze, a radio documentary by journalist Fi Glover... [Read More]
Book Review: Introducing Epigenetics - A Graphic Guide
27 February 2017 - by Annabel Slater
'Introducing Epigenetics: A graphic guide' is a mini-textbook pitched as a non-fiction comic book. Despite the colourful cover and perky graphics inside, this book does not make for light reading... [Read More]

BioNews News articles written by Annabel Slater:
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Seventy-two new gene targets for breast cancer found
30 October 2017 - by Annabel Slater
Two studies have discovered 72 new genetic variants associated with the risk of developing breast cancer... [Read More]
Lifespan linked by study to mutations and lifestyle
23 October 2017 - by Annabel Slater
Weight loss, education, giving up smoking, and being open to new experiences have all been linked to longer life... [Read More]
Act now to investigate male infertility, urges expert
16 October 2017 - by Annabel Slater
An expert in male fertility has called for urgent research into the stark decline reported in Western sperm counts... [Read More]
Epigenetics of addiction relapse probed using rats
2 October 2017 - by Annabel Slater
Researchers have identified how the likelihood of cocaine addiction relapse is influenced by epigenetic changes in rats... [Read More]
Brain has 'genetic calendar' for ageing
18 September 2017 - by Annabel Slater
A 'genetic lifespan calendar' of lifelong gene expression changes has been discovered in human and mouse brains... [Read More]
Deficient diet linked to schizophrenia symptoms in mice
11 September 2017 - by Annabel Slater
Mice deprived of two essential fatty acids during pregnancy give birth to pups with schizophrenia-like symptoms... [Read More]
Doubt over human embryo editing study
4 September 2017 - by Annabel Slater
A group of scientists have challenged the landmark study which reported the first successful editing of human embryos for a genetic disease... [Read More]
Surrogacy charity founder sentenced for embezzlement
29 August 2017 - by Annabel Slater
A surrogacy charity founder has been convicted of embezzling £50,000... [Read More]
Gene therapy skin grafts for obesity and diabetes
7 August 2017 - by Annabel Slater
A proof-of-concept study in mice has demonstrated how skin grafts could deliver gene therapy for obesity and diabetes... [Read More]
Multiple rounds of IVF increase chance of success
31 July 2017 - by Annabel Slater
IVF success rates increase with multiple rounds... [Read More]