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Ethics and Research Methods

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Animal Testing Methods for Some Chemicals Should Change

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Challenging risk assessment methods used for decades by toxicologists, a new review of the literature suggests that oral gavage, the most widely accepted method of dosing lab animals to test chemical toxicity, does not accurately mimic how humans are exposed to chemicals in everyday life.

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Is FDA’s Crackdown on Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing a Violation of the First Amendment?

In November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the company 23andMe to stop offering its direct-to-consumer DNA testing service, which provided individuals with $99 assessments of their genetic risk for almost 200 disorders. A thought-stimulating opinion piece published in Clinical Chemistry, the journal of AACC, now examines whether this move by FDA is a violation of the First Amendment, or a necessary step to protect consumers.

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To Boldly Go? Experts Issue Ethics Guidelines for Health Standards on NASA’s Next Generation of Risky Missions

An Institute of Medicine committee has issued a report with ethics principles and guidelines to aid NASA in decision-making for longer, higher risk human spaceflights

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Brain Scans Link Concern for Justice with Reason, Not Emotion

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People who care about justice are swayed more by reason than emotion, according to new brain scan research from the University of Chicago Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.

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An End to Animal Testing for Drug Discovery?

As some countries and companies roll out new rules to limit animal testing in pharmaceutical products designed for people, scientists are stepping in with a new way to test therapeutic drug candidates and determine drug safety and drug interactions — without using animals. The development of “chemosynthetic livers,” which could dramatically alter how drugs are made, was presented at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

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Ethical Need for Better Health Care Regulatory Oversight

Writing in JAMA, ethicists and health policy experts from Johns Hopkins, Harvard and the Center for Democracy and Technology issue a call and recommendations for better regulation and guidance of crucial quality improvement health care research.

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Shale Could Be Long-Term Home for Problematic Nuclear Waste

Shale, the source of the United States’ current natural gas boom, could help solve another energy problem: what to do with radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. The unique properties of the sedimentary rock and related clay-rich rocks make it ideal for storing the potentially dangerous spent fuel for millennia, according to a geologist studying possible storage sites. He presented his research today at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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Fair and Equitable: Considerations for the Ethical Distribution of Shared Savings in ACOs

Media Advisory: In a JAMA Viewpoint, Johns Hopkins Physicians and Bioethicists suggest five ethical considerations for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to use in determining fair distribution of “shared savings”.

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Duke Teams Set Treatment Priorities in New National Research Effort

Treatment regimens often evolve without strong scientific evidence of their benefits and drawbacks, particularly in comparison to other drugs or approaches. Now Duke Medicine is participating in a large national initiative aiming to fill in that missing information.

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