Tag: research

Blog Posts (39)

April 11, 2014

What Price Immortality? Privately Funded Projects and the Prolongation of Life

By Richard Koo, Bioethics Program Alum (MS Bioethics 2011) and Adjunct Faculty Seemingly ripped from the covers of comic books, no less than three privately funded projects seeking the prolongation of human life have been publicized in the past year. The 2045 Initiative, dubbed “the Avatar Project”, is arguably the most futuristic and non-traditional of the […]
April 4, 2014

Whose Business Is It If You Want a Bee To Sting Your Penis? Should IRBs Be Policing Self-Experimentation?

by Michelle Meyer, Bioethics Program Faculty. You might think that the answer to the titular question is pretty obvious. Obviously, it’s your business, and yours alone if you want to induce a bee to sting your penis? Right? I mean, sure, maybe it would be considerate to discuss the potential ramifications of this activity with your partner. […]
August 9, 2011

Icarus’ Folly: On the Need to Steward Neuroscientific Information…”Out of the Lab and into the Public Sphere”

The employment of basic neuroscientific research (what are known in government parlance as “6.1 Level” studies) in translational development (so-called “6.2 Level” work) and test and evaluation applications (“6.3 Level” uses) is not always a straightforward sequence of events.  There … Continue reading
June 6, 2011

The (In)Justice of Cancer Treatment

It is striking the juxtaposition of the two major headlines today regarding cancer treatment:

Cancer costs put treatments out of reach for many

Drug to treat breast cancer may help prevent it“.…

September 13, 2010

Guinea-Pigging: It's Not A Real Word, But It's A Real-World Phenomenon

Watch to see the story of “The Life of a Professional Guinea Pig” courtesy of TIME.

Spencer, or as I would describe him a walking human pin cushion (shown below), tells his story of being a healthy volunteer for Phase I research.…

August 4, 2010

Could (or Should) Bioethicists Prevent These 14 Inevitable Scientific Breakthroughs from Changing The World?

For just a little levity on a Wednesday, click on this link at Cracked.com to see their reader’s picks for the 14 Inevitable Scientific Breakthroughs The World Will Regret!…

February 4, 2010

Caplan: Zealot's Bad Study Leads Autism Community Astray for A Decade

As Arthur Caplan tells us in this week’s MSNBC column, one bad study and a zealot’s pursuit of a theory can lead an entire movement and entire generation of parents astray.…

January 25, 2010

"Extraordinary Messiness"

Hollywood has taken up orphan diseases before–remember “Lorenzo’s Oil”? And bioethics movies generally have been increasingly common, even just in the last year.…

October 14, 2009

Is Nanotechnology the Key to Happiness?

Nanotechnology has been called a great many things–the great leveler, the panacea to all that ails the world, the technology that will allow us to solve all of our problems from world hunger to pollution.…

October 6, 2009

Nonsense. It's Good For You.

Who knew that “The Ministry of Silly Walks” and other such absurdities could actually strengthen our brains? Yes, it’s true.…

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Published Articles (6)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 10 - Oct 2012

Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Surrogate Decision Making in the Internet Age” Jessica Berg

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 10 - Oct 2012


American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 10 - Oct 2012

Review of Marion Danis, Emily Largent, David Wendler, Sara Chandros Hull, Seema Shah, Joseph Millum, Benjamin Berkman, and Christine Grady, Research Ethics Consultation: A Casebook Emily E. Anderson

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 10 - Oct 2012

Review of Robert Klitzman, Am I My Genes? Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing Sonia M. Suter

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 10 - Oct 2012

Surrogate Decision Making in the Internet Age Jessica Berg

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 10 - Oct 2012

Genomic Inheritances: Disclosing Individual Research Results From Whole-Exome Sequencing to Deceased Participants’ Relatives Ben Chan

News (28)

October 29, 2012 5:50 pm

Red Wine Compound May Not Help Healthy Women (WebMD Health News)

New research raises doubts about the health benefits of the much-hyped red wine compound resveratrol.  In a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, healthy women in their late 50s and early 60s who took resveratrol supplements showed no improvement in factors linked to developing diabetes and heart disease.  The finding suggests that resveratrol supplements do not benefit healthy people.

September 5, 2012 7:41 pm

Former Harvard professor Marc Hauser fabricated, manipulated data, US says (Boston.com)

Marc Hauser, a prolific scientist and popular psychology professor who last summer resigned from Harvard University, had fabricated data, manipulated results in multiple experiments, and described how studies were conducted in factually incorrect ways, according to the findings of a federal research oversight agency posted online Wednesday.  The report provides the greatest insight yet into the problems that triggered a three-year internal university investigation that concluded in 2010 that Hauser, a star professor and public intellectual, had committed eight instances of scientific misconduct. The document, which will be published in the Federal Register Thursday, found six cases in which Hauser engaged in research misconduct in work supported by the National Institutes of Health. One paper was retracted and two were corrected, and other problems were found in unpublished work.

August 22, 2012 5:04 pm

Stem Cell Trial for Autism Launches in U.S. (Scientific American)

A clinical trial being conducted by the Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento, California to address this situation began recruiting participants today for a highly experimental stem cell therapy for autism. The institute plans to find 30 autistic children between ages 2 and 7 with cord blood banked at the privately-run Cord Blood Registry, located about 100 miles west of the institute.

August 2, 2012 1:05 pm

Humanizing the Human Genome Project (projectsyndicate.org)

Since the human genome was first sequenced in 2000, genome science has accelerated at a remarkable rate. Rapid advances in DNA-sequencing technology mean that affordable decoding of the human genome is not far away. In fact, human genomes could be sequenced for as little as $1,000 in the next few years. Unfortunately, the current biomedical research establishment is entirely unprepared for such a scenario.

July 29, 2012 9:31 am

Synthetic life: the revolution begins (Financial Times)

Now his teams – working in tandem at the non-profit J. Craig Venter Institute and Synthetic Genomics, a biotech company in California – are well on the way to making synthetic microbes distinctly different to anything in nature. “We have a design contest to come up with a genome designed completely in a computer,” Venter says. “Three different versions of the genome are being constructed now and we hope to know by the end of the summer whether any of these designs will work as a living cell.”
July 18, 2012 10:11 am

The Meaning of Life — According to Geneticist J. Craig Venter (TIME)

A profile in Forbes by Matthew Herper, dubbed Venter “the Bono of genetics,” sniping that “he warps the reality field around genetic research through sheer force of ego and showmanship.”  And yet Venter endures. Say what you will about his synthetic bacterium, no one else has achieved such a feat. And he is pressing on with other projects, more recently engineering a type of algae that is yellow rather than dark green, enabling light to pass through it so it can grow in greater density — providing what he hopes will be an ideal raw material for biofuel.

July 16, 2012 9:29 am

Baby in a Box? (The American Thinker)

The rise of technology and research in the 21st century has brought about advances in biology and medicine, specifically in genetics.  Anyone who has read the excellent cautionary tale Bloodline, by James Rollins, will wonder about the balance among morality, fate, and science, as well as how far science should go.  American Thinker decided to go beyond Bloodline‘s fascinating adventure story to explore the narrative of genetics by interviewing some experts as well as the author, James Rollins.

July 13, 2012 1:16 pm

DNA-Sequencing Factory Could Be The Future If It Survives The Present (Forbes)

“In the research market our advantages are pretty limited,” says Reid. “We have higher quality. But in the research market that doesn’t matter very much. Researchers can work with lower quality data. That’s really been a startling revelation to us that despite the community saying quality is everything quality really isn’t everything.”

July 10, 2012 4:39 pm

Searching genomic data faster (MIT News)

In 2001, the Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics announced that after 10 years of work at a cost of some $400 million, they had completed a draft sequence of the human genome. Today, sequencing a human genome is something that a single researcher can do in a couple of weeks for less than $10,000.

June 22, 2012 11:46 am

The Agony of Banning Ecstasy (Slate)

One of the things I find very disturbing about the current approach to drugs, which is simply prohibition without necessarily any full understanding of harms, is that we lose sight of the fact that these drugs may well give us insights into areas of science that need to be explored and may give us new opportunities for treatment.

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