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Dr Vivienne Raper

Dr Vivienne Raper was formerly Science Editor at BioNews and at the charity that publishes it, the Progress Educational Trust (PET). She is a freelance journalist and copywriter specialising in science and health, and has written for publications including the Biologist, Cambridge Alumni Magazine, the East London Advertiser, the Ecologist, Ethical Living, the Financial Times, How It Works, the Nursing Times, P3 Pharmacy, Science, the South London Press, Southwark News, spiked and the Wall Street Journal. She has written brochure and press pack material for organisations including the UK Government's Department of Health, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Johnson and Johnson, and the Healthcare Commission (now subsumed into the Care Quality Commission). Previously, she worked at the PR agency De Facto Communications, and she interned at the thinktank Newton's Apple. She has a PhD in imaging and informatics from the University of Bristol, and a Certificate in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists.


BioNews Comment articles written by Dr Vivienne Raper:
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Progress Educational Trust conference: The evidence for cross-border reproductive care
29 November 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Are European airlines bursting with 'fertility tourists' risking their health by travelling abroad? Do most people seeking fertility treatment overseas fit the media stereotype - white, middle-class career women over 50? Does cross-border reproductive care (CBRC) include eggs imported from abroad? Dr Françoise Shenfield and Professor Lorraine Culley tried to answer these questions during the first session of last Wednesday's Progress Educational Trust (PET) annual conference... [Read More]
Ten questions for Dr Julian Huppert MP
12 July 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Before Dr Julian Huppert was elected MP for Cambridge in May this year, he was a computational biologist at Cambridge University studying the structure and function of DNA. Now, he's one of only two scientists with PhDs in parliament. BioNews quizzed him about science funding, synthetic biology and the shortage of scientists in politics... [Read More]
CORRECTION: Telling is more important than ever by Dr Lucy Frith
1 February 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
In Dr Lucy Frith's comment, Dr Jennifer M Speirs' surname is misspelt as 'Spiers' in reference five... [Read More]

BioNews Review articles written by Dr Vivienne Raper:
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Book Review: The Pursuit of Motherhood
6 May 2014 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
This journey through one woman's seven-year quest to conceive could be best described as a cross between Eat, Pray, Love and Bridget Jones’ Diary... [Read More]
Book Review: Drawing the Map of Life - Inside the Human Genome Project
10 January 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
The quest to sequence the first human genome has all the ingredients of a good thriller. Privately funded maverick scientist Dr Craig Venter raced the government-sponsored Human Genome Project (HGP) to be the first to sequence the human genetic code. When the draft code was finally published in 2001, it became one of the landmark scientific advances of the last decade... [Read More]
Event Review: Whose Genome Is It Anyway?
18 October 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Would you publish your genome? Last week, the 12-member Genomes Unzipped project published their direct-to-consumer genetic test results online. They say they're dispelling fears and encouraging discussion about what genetics means for society. But, in a Royal Institution debate on Thursday, Wellcome Trust Director Sir Mark Walport said openly disclosing their DNA would - like drunken Facebook party pictures - return to haunt them... [Read More]
Event review: Music from the Genome
19 July 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Imagine singing a piece of your DNA. 'A', 'C' and 'G'- the first three letters of your genetic code - are easy because they have corresponding musical notes. The fourth letter, 'T', looks harder, but you can use 'ti' on the musical scale. Think 'tea' in the song 'Doe a deer, a female deer, Ray, a drop of golden sun… Tea, a drink with jam and bread'... [Read More]
Book Review: Learning to Live with Huntington's Disease - One Family's Story
4 May 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Huntington's Disease affects families as much as individuals; affected parents have a 50 per chance of passing it to their children. This fact makes this book describing the effects of Huntington's on an entire family such a thought-provoking read. And it's funny, chatty and uplifting too... [Read More]

BioNews News articles written by Dr Vivienne Raper:
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Risk testing during national breast screening could halve cancer rates
5 September 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
UK women at high risk of breast cancer could halve their chances of developing the disease with genetic risk testing during routine NHS screening. This news came from PROCAS - the world's first study into giving genetic risk and prevention advice in a national breast screening programme, and was reported in this Sunday's Express.... [Read More]
UK DonorLink closes its doors to new registrants
22 August 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
UK Donor Link (UKDL) - the voluntary contact register for adults conceived with or who donated sperm or eggs before August 1991 - is threatened with closure... [Read More]
UK IVF errors treble in three years
22 August 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Mistakes in IVF treatment more than trebled in Britain during the last three years, according to figures from the UK's fertility regulator.... [Read More]
IVF pioneer to be knighted
13 June 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
IVF pioneer Professor Robert Edwards has been awarded a knighthood in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours. The knighthood follows Professor Edwards' Nobel Prize in Medicine win last year for his work developing this fertility treatment. His work led to the birth of Louise Brown, the first so-called 'test tube' baby, in July 1978... [Read More]
Former Progress Educational Trust patron appointed to House of Lords
22 November 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
A former patron of the Progress Educational Trust (PET), which publishes BioNews, has been appointed to the UK's House of Lords. Former Member of Parliament (MP) Dafydd Wigley campaigned for the first Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act in 1990...
First fertility show for single and gay people
25 October 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
The first parenthood show for gay and single people was held on Saturday in London. The Alternative Families Show featured seminars about fertility treatment, adoption, surrogacy and other options for starting a family... [Read More]
Human Genetics Commission faces uncertain future
27 September 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
The UK Government's advisory body on new developments in human genetics faces an uncertain future after it appeared on a leaked list of 177 quangos facing Government review and abolition. Members of the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) received an email on Friday from the Department of Health (DH) apologising for the leak in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, but not contradicting its substance... [Read More]
'NHS has a responsibility to provide fertility services', says minister
27 September 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Health secretary Andrew Lansley has warned Bury Primary Care Trust (PCT) over plans to suspend IVF treatment as a cost-cutting measure, the Manchester Evening News reports. The trust aimed to stem a £1.3 million per month overspend by 'temporarily suspending' routine IVF treatment for new patients below a certain age. Patients already having treatment would continue to receive it... [Read More]
Leaked letter 'proves' fertility watchdog faces last bark
24 September 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
The UK's fertility regulator is on a Government 'hit list' of quangos facing abolition, according to a letter leaked this week. The letter, dated 26 August, supposedly from Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude to other ministers lists the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) among 177 quangos due to be axed... [Read More]
Genetic tests for autism, blindness and learning disabilities in clinics 'by 2011'
6 September 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper
Tests to diagnose learning disabilities, autism and blindness using a child's whole genome could become a reality in clinics by 2011, according to a leading Dutch academic... [Read More]