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Author Archive: Nancy Walton

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A call for “new rules” for Internet-based research

The John Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics put out a press release today, announcing the pre-release of an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: In Wake of Uproar Over Facebook’s Emotional Manipulation Study, Bioethics Scholars Say New Rules Are a “Moral Imperative” It’s not actually news, many would agree, but good […]

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Research ethics scandals in Canada, you ask? Sadly, yes.

There are certainly plenty of people who think that research ethics scandals happen everywhere else, but not in Canada. Well, it seems that a recent report by food historian Ian Mosby at the University of Guelph has uncovered that, yes, in fact research ethics scandals can, do and have happened in Canada. Mosby’s report, published […]

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Research Fraud Case Raises Concerns Over Ethics of Psychology Research

It’s a big story in research ethics and it has been reported in major newspapers all over the world. There’s even a Wikipedia page already about this case. The story centres on a fraud case against Diederik Stapel, a well-known psychologist and widely-published researcher at Tilburg University. It is claimed that Dr. Stapel drew inaccurate […]

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What Scorpion Bites Can Teach Us About Placebo Trials

A recent story in Nature highlights a few important concepts in the conduct of placebo-controlled trials. This story is about a very small placebo-controlled trial involving only 15 children who were stung by bark scorpions in Arizona. The trial’s goal was to demonstrate effectiveness of a new antivenom, Anascorp. The bark scorpion is the only […]

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Disclosing Conflicts of Interest: The Case of Tamiflu

An interesting story recently from CBC highlights some of the difficulties with the topic of conflict of interest in medicine and biomedical research. Here’s a link to the story: CBC Tamiflu Probe Sparks Drug Policy Review “In the course of the CBC investigation, Zalac also reported that three of Canada’s most prominent flu experts — […]

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Prenatal Surgery, Hope for Spina Bifida and Ethical Reflection

Spina bifida is a serious developmental birth defect in which the spinal cord and backbone fail to develop completely and infants may be born with some of the spinal cord protruding out of their middle or lower back. Treatment typically involves surgery as soon as possible to repair the birth defect. There are different forms […]

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German Anesthetist Faces Massive Retraction of Published Research Articles

A German anesthetist, Joachim Boldt, has published over 350 peer-reviewed papers and is currently the target of a German medical board investigation for data manipulation, fabrication of data and failure to have human studies reviewed and approved by an ethics review board. This story began when the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia retracted a 2009 article […]

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