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Harriet Vickers

Harriet Vickers was previously a Volunteer Writer at BioNews. She is currently studying for a MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London, and she writes for publications including the British Medical Journal and I Science magazine. She has written features for BirdLife International, worked as a Press Assistant at the British Science Association, and worked for the United Nations Environment Programme's World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Previously, she studied Zoology at the University of Leeds. She tweets as @harrietvickers

BioNews Review articles written by Harriet Vickers:
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Event Review: Nature, Nurture or Neither? The View from the Genes
6 December 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Overweight families have overweight cats, Detroit has a higher murder rate than the UK and a flock of goldfinches is called a charm. All these effects are evidently mainly environmental. They're caused by overfeeding, more gangs and guns, and the standard and focus of education, respectively. But Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London, UK, argued last week these factors are often overlooked because of our obsession with genetics... [Read More]
Book Review: Contested Categories - Life Sciences in Society
28 May 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Our knowledge of biology has enabled us to move away from understanding to manipulating and influencing. As the authors of 'Contested Categories' write, we could be on the cusp of 'a bio-age, a posthuman future or an era of genetic programming'. But how does life science research translate into society? This is broadly the book's focus... [Read More]

BioNews News articles written by Harriet Vickers:
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Moving pinboard boosts IVF success
1 August 2011 - by Harriet Vickers
Scientists have increased the quality of embryos developed for IVF - by culturing them on a bed of pins. Currently, embryos are fertilised in a dish, and left there to culture for a few days before being implanted. However, Professor Gary Smith, a researcher on the project, says this doesn't mimic how embryos naturally gestate... [Read More]
No ethical barriers to pre-pregnancy DNA tests, say government advisors
11 April 2011 - by Harriet Vickers
The UK Government's advisory body on genetics has said there are no legal, social or ethical barriers to pre-pregnancy genetic screening, and that this could be offered routinely on the NHS. In a report out last week, the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) said testing should be 'equally available to all those who may benefit from it'.... [Read More]
Unravelling the genetic ancestry of the Scots
7 March 2011 - by Harriet Vickers
Research conducted at the University of Edinburgh means Scots can find out more about their ancestry through a DNA test. Dr Jim Wilson, a research fellow at Edinburgh, gathered and studied genetic samples from across Scotland... [Read More]
UK's first surrogacy advice centre opened
10 January 2011 - by Harriet Vickers
The UK's first centre to advise same-sex couples wanting to have children will open later this month. Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow will run the British Surrogacy Centre in Essex to guide couples through the surrogacy process... [Read More]
NHS Surrey to stop providing IVF
22 November 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
NHS Surrey is the latest Primary Care Trust to stop providing IVF for new patients. Facing a £125 million budget deficit this year, the trust has decided to suspend all new courses of the treatment, although women nearing 40 will be considered and ongoing treatments will be continued. Previously it funded up to two full cycles of IVF per couple, if the woman was aged between 23 and 39... [Read More]
Don't tell Nick Clegg, but researchers find 'gene for liberalism'
8 November 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
US researchers have claimed that having a particular gene variant and a sociable time in your teens may mean you are more likely to be politically liberal.... [Read More]
Sperm and egg donors should be paid more, experts claim
25 October 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Two experts have indicated their support for paying sperm and egg donors more money... [Read More]
Melatonin could improve women's IVF success
20 September 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Women with poor egg (or oocyte) quality could double their chance of becoming pregnant through IVF if given melatonin, researchers have found. The work was presented at the World Congress of Fertility and Sterility in Munich last week... [Read More]
Scientists at NPL develop new technique for detecting disease biomarkers
6 September 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Tests to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and cancer at the molecular level are being developed by scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London... [Read More]
Involuntary childlessness has a significant impact, study shows
23 August 2010 - by Harriet Vickers
Involuntary childlessness may have a bigger negative impact on peoples' lives than previously thought. A researcher studying couples who unsuccessfully underwent IVF treatment say these people had a lower quality of life than couples with children... [Read More]