April 10, 2018 9:00 am
Already under siege over loose privacy controls and Russian manipulation, Facebook is about to be challenged on another issue: facial recognition. The Electronic Privacy Information Center and several other consumer groups plan Friday to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking for an investigation into the network’s use of facial recognition technology.
April 9, 2018 9:00 am
According to CNBC, the company was as recently as last month talking to the likes of Stanford Medical School about setting up a data-sharing agreement for a research project with a focus on heart disease. “This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analyzed anyone’s data,” Facebook told CNBC, which reported that the plan was put on hold following the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, and the subsequent revelations about Facebook’s data-sharing practices.
April 5, 2018 9:00 am
When a scientist sends a grant application to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and it goes through peer review, the entire process is supposed to be shrouded in secrecy. But late last year, NIH officials disclosed that they had discovered that someone involved in the proposal review process had violated confidentiality rules designed to protect its integrity. As a result, the agency announced in December 2017 that it would rereview dozens of applications that might have been compromised.
April 4, 2018 9:00 am
Researchers tracking a genetic mutation that causes an early-onset form of the disease hope to uncover new drug targets.
March 29, 2018 9:00 am
The goal is to find one million people in the United States, from all walks of life and all racial and ethnic groups, who are willing to have their genomes sequenced, and to provide their medical records and regular blood samples.
They may choose to wear devices that continuously monitor physical activity, perhaps even devices not yet developed that will track heart rate and blood pressure. They will fill out surveys about what they eat and how much.
If all goes well, experts say, the result will be a trove of health information like nothing the world has seen. The project, called the All of Us Research Program, should provide new insights into who gets sick and why, and how to prevent and treat chronic diseases.
February 20, 2018 9:00 am
Airplane flight recorders and body cameras help investigators make sense of complicated events. Biologists studying cells have tried to build their own data recorders, for example by linking the activity of a gene of interest to one making a fluorescent protein. Their goal is to clarify processes such as the emergence of cancer, aging, environmental impacts, and embryonic development.
February 7, 2018 9:00 am
Utrecht University (UU) in the Netherlands thought it had nothing to be ashamed of when it accepted a €360,000 research grant from Philip Morris International (PMI) last September. The tobacco giant had agreed to fund a study on cigarette smuggling that had obvious public health importance, and the lead researcher, law professor John Vervaele, would enjoy complete academic freedom. Sure, there had been a “thorough debate” about the grant, Vervaele said in a press release, “but the tobacco industry is not illegal. The illicit tobacco trade is.”
December 26, 2017 9:00 am
Scientists could soon resume controversial experiments on germs with the potential to cause pandemics, as government officials have decided to finally lift an unusual three-year moratorium on federal funding for the work. The research involves three viruses — influenza, SARS, and MERS — that could kill millions if they mutated in a way that let the germs spread quickly among people.
November 14, 2017 9:00 am
Ever since Alex Pollen was a boy talking with his neuroscientist father, he wanted to know how evolution made the human brain so special. Our brains are bigger, relative to body size, than other animals’, but it’s not just size that matters. “Elephants and whales have bigger brains,” notes Pollen, now a neuroscientist himself at the University of California, San Francisco. Comparing anatomy or even genomes of humans and other animals reveals little about the genetic and developmental changes that sent our brains down such a different path.
November 10, 2017 9:00 am
Former GlaxoSmithKline boss Andrew Witty is to lead a new British scheme to accelerate access to ground-breaking medicines for conditions such as cancer, dementia and diabetes from April 2018.