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We Convey More Than We (Literally) Say


by Jason N. Batten, Bonnie O. Wong, William F. Hanks & David Magnus

This issue of the American Journal of Bioethics features a target article by Blumenthal-Barby and Ubel that focuses on patients who are unrealistically optimistic, in denial, or self-deceived. In his excellent commentary, Weinfurt points us toward a particular branch of communication theory—pragmatics—as a fruitful way of evaluating statements made by these patients. He and several other bioethicists have contributed to a small but growing literature applying pragmatics to physician–patient communication, research ethics, and our interpretation of empirical bioethics studies.…

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Cornell nutrition scientist resigns after retractions and research misconduct finding Science

Brian Wansink, the Cornell University nutrition researcher known for probing the psychology behind human eating habits, has resigned after a university misconduct investigation, and following the retraction this week of six of his papers.

UK doctors win battle with drug giants over cheaper eye medicine Reuters

Drug giants Novartis, Bayer and Roche lost a bid to stop British doctors from recommending a cheaper drug option for people with an eye disease that causes blindness.

Human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes, researchers reveal Science Daily

A new study reveals that up to 20 percent of genes classified as coding (those that produce the proteins that are the building blocks of all living things) may not be coding after all because they have characteristics that are typical of non-coding or pseudogenes (obsolete coding genes). The work once again highlights doubts about the number of real genes present in human cells 15 years after the sequencing the human genome.

California Sues AbbVie Over Alleged Arthritis Drug Kickbacks Bloomberg

California’s insurance regulator is suing AbbVie Inc., alleging that the pharmaceutical giant gave illegal kickbacks to health-care providers in order to keep patients on its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira.