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Dr Louisa Petchey

Louisa Petchey is a Volunteer Writer at BioNews, having originally joined the publication under the auspices of its writing scheme. She is currently the Policy Officer at Genetic Alliance UK, the national charity working to improve the lives of patients and families affected by rare and genetic conditions. Previously, she was also a parliamentary assistant for George Freeman. She obtained her PhD from the University College London's Institute of Child Health under the auspices of a studentship from Great Ormond Street Hospital's Children's Charity. Her research focused on heart development and disease. Previously, she studied Molecular Cell Biology at the University of York and worked as an Industrial Trainee at Novartis.

BioNews Review articles written by Dr Louisa Petchey:
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Event Review: Bioethics in 2025 - What Will Be the Challenges?
18 November 2014 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
This Nuffield Council debate was instead a surprisingly thoughtful discussion on what bioethicists are doing now, on what we could do, the speakers asked whether we are moving closer to or further away from a future we are happy with... [Read More]
Theatre Review: Dayglo
19 March 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
'Dayglo', the latest play by the Y Touring Theatre Company, skilfully and thoughtfully explores pharmacogenetics, and is much more than just another educational story...
TV Review: Brave New World - Health
31 October 2011 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
'Science is on the brink of changing your life'. It's a bold and risky opening statement, but I find my initial scepticism quelled. Whether this is due to the promise coming from the revered Professor Stephen Hawking, or because I've allowed myself to get caught up in the increasingly dramatic soundtrack is hard to say. But either way, the addition of flashy sound bites from enthusiastic scientific celebrities coupled with epic landscape shots from exotic destinations is sufficient to convinc... [Read More]

BioNews News articles written by Dr Louisa Petchey:
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Conservative MP says mitochondrial donation will produce 'genetically modified children'
17 March 2014 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
The Conservative MP for North East Somerset, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has said that mitochondrial donation will produce 'genetically modified children' with 'three parents', and was 'effectively cloning'... [Read More]
Gene links stress to heart attacks
6 January 2014 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
The same genetic variant that makes some people more prone to stress has been shown to increase the risk of having and dying from a heart attack... [Read More]
Mixed messages on surrogacy maternity leave from European court
30 September 2013 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
Uncertainty in EU law over the issue of surrogacy and the right to paid maternity leave deepened this week after expert advisors to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) gave opposing recommendations on separate but similar cases.... [Read More]
UK fertility and human tissue regulators spared axe
28 January 2013 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and Human Tissue Authority (HTA) have been spared the 'bonfire of the quangos' it was announced on Friday, but will be subject to an independent review to improve efficiency... [Read More]
US bioethics panel urges privacy protection in new era of genome sequencing
15 October 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
Whole genome sequencing is getting faster and cheaper but the huge healthcare benefits this data promises must be balanced by policies that protect patient privacy, says a report by the President's Commission of Bioethics in the USA... [Read More]
Genetic map of all microbes on, or in, our bodies published
18 June 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
The most extensive catalogue of the trillions of microbes that live in and on humans - called the human microbiome - has been published by an international team of scientists... [Read More]
Melanoma sequencing reveals genetic effects of sun damage
15 May 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
Whole genome sequencing of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has confirmed the long held belief that greater sun exposure raises cancer risk by increasing the frequency of genetic mutation. The study also identifies one gene, PREX2, that is mutated in 14 percent of cases... [Read More]
Call for moratorium on synthetic biology
2 April 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
Synthetic biology, which uses genetic engineering to build new genomes and organisms, has come under attack in a report published by Friends of the Earth and supported by over 100 other 'public interest' groups... [Read More]
European approval for skin cancer drug that could double lifespan
27 February 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
The European approval of a new gene-specific drug for an aggressive form of skin cancer marks another step towards an era of personalised medicine. A recent trial showed promising results, with the drug shrinking tumour size and extending life span... [Read More]
IVF 'twins' born five years apart
9 January 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey
Five-year-old Reuben Blake has already started school, but his twin sister Floren, conceived during the same IVF treatment cycle, has only just been born... [Read More]