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Ethics and Research Methods

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Ebola Outbreak: Experts on Medical Ethics, Microbiology, Transportation and Politics Weigh in From DePaul University

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Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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In Wake of Uproar Over Facebook’s Emotional Manipulation Study, Bioethics Scholars Say New Rules Are A "Moral Imperative"

Using the recent debate over the Facebook-Cornell "emotional contagion" study as a starting point, an international team of research ethics scholars begin mapping the ethics terrain of large-scale social computing research in PNAS.

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Medicine

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Penn Medicine Bioethicists Call for Greater First-World Response to Ebola Outbreak

Amid recent discussion about the Ebola crisis in West Africa, Penn Medicine physicians say that high-income countries like the United States have an obligation to help those affected by the outbreak and to advance research to fight the deadly disease — including in the context of randomized clinical trials of new drugs to combat the virus.

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Medicine

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Penn Researcher and CVS Health Physician Urge New Payment Model for Costly Gene Therapy Treatments

Hoping to encourage sufficient investments by pharmaceutical companies in expensive gene therapies, which often consist of a single treatment, a Penn researcher and the chief medical officer of CVS Health outline an alternative payment model.

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The Ethics of Giving: Why Not All Charity is Good Charity

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Media Advisory: Hopkins Bioethicist Defends Treatment of American Ebola Patients

Public health ethics expert Nancy Kass defends the unique treatment given to the two Americans who contracted the Ebola virus and cautions against rapid, widespread dissemination of experimental treatments.

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Science

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Scarcity of Elements in Products Like Smartphones Needs Addressing, Say Scientists

Many of today’s technological innovations from the iPhone to electric motors for hybrid cars require the use of materials — elements — that are scarce or difficult to obtain. As demand for these devices grows, the problem of dwindling critical element supplies must be addressed. That’s the conclusion of a white paper written by eminent scientists. The product of the 5th Chemical Sciences and Society Summit (CS3), the white paper recommends focusing research on finding alternative materials and new approaches to technology development in order to prevent these elements from disappearing.

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Law and Public Policy

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CHORUS Looks Forward to Working with the Department of Energy to Advance Access to Research

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will be collaborating with the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS) as a component of its model for providing public access to peer-reviewed articles that report on DOE-funded research. CHORUS is a collaborative service developed by the not-for-profit organization CHOR, Inc. to provide easy public access to scholarly works.

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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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