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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Study finds new way genome privacy can be breached – The San Diego (Bradley J. Fikes | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 10, 2017

Anonymized genomes can be traced back to the people they came from by linking the data to identifiable individual traits, according to a study published Monday.

While the headline grabs the attention, and the warning may indeed be a sobering reality in the not-too-distant-future, the reality of individuals having their genetic privacy breached is still reasonably impractical.

The proof-of-concept study points to potential privacy risks at a time when genomes are being sequenced in larger numbers for health research. But it also points to benefits in areas such as forensics where accurate descriptions, such as facial features, are essential.

Using 1,061 volunteers, researchers fed their genomic and biometric information into a machine learning program. Characteristics examined included sex, skin and eye color, facial structure, age, height, weight, and even voice.

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AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics policy0

Posted by Admin in on October 7, 2017

The purpose of the American Geophysical Union is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. Scientific integrity and ethics are fundamental to scientific advancement and science cannot flourish without the respectful and equitable treatment of all those engaged in the scientific community. The AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy is a set of principles and practices for professional behavior regarding the practice, learning, training, publishing, and communication of science which governs all AGU members, staff, volunteers, and non-members participating in AGU sponsored programs and activities. The Policy has been revised to include a new code of conduct that broadens the definition of professional misconduct to include discrimination, sexual harassment, and bullying. The revised Policy identifies standards for professional behavior and outlines processes for reporting and addressing violations.

Access the American Geophysical Union research integrity policy
24/03/2017 – Updated AGU Ethics Policy Available for Member Comment

Ethical considerations in the use of student data: International perspectives and educators’ perceptions (Papers: Hazel Jones | 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on September 27, 2017

As more emphasis is placed on the notion of “Show Me the Learning”, institutions and individual staff are looking to the field of learning analytics to provide evidence of the learning that is happening. There is growing concern within the field that this evidence needs to be collected and utilised in ethical ways. However, there is a disconnect between national and international perspectives of the importance of institutional policy and guidelines regarding ethical use of student data, and the perceptions of academics about these guidelines. Although many universities are adopting such policies, results from a survey of academics suggest that such policy and guidelines are low on the ranking of factors that impact their current use and knowledge of learning analytics. Practical strategies are suggested to promote policy and guidelines, with appropriate support mechanisms that enable staff to embrace and adopt learning analytics through efficient, sustainable, and accessible processes.

Keywords: Ethical use of data, learning and teaching culture, learning analytics, PESTER plan,
student data

Jones, H. (2016). Ethical considerations in the use of student data: International perspectives and educators’ perceptions. In S. Barker, S. Dawson, A. Pardo, & C. Colvin (Eds.), Show Me The Learning. Proceedings ASCILITE 2016 Adelaide (pp. 300-304).

Two in 100 clinical trials in eight major journals likely contain inaccurate data: Study – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | June 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 22, 2017

A sweeping analysis of more than 5,000 papers in eight leading medical journals has found compelling evidence of suspect data in roughly 2% of randomized controlled clinical trials in those journals.

This is not the first time such an observation has been made and it probably won’t be the last. Distorted evidence is a cause for concern when it leads to poor (or even dangerous decision making), but we’re left wondering if we need to try to gather such observations into an omnibus and footnoted a single item in the Resource Library. What do you think? Drop us a line ( and let us know what you think. This report does highlight the importance for clinical decision making of being well-read on a topic rather than relying on a small sample of articles supporting a treatment.

Although the analysis, by John Carlisle, an anesthetist in the United Kingdom, could not determine whether the concerning data were tainted by misconduct or sloppiness, it suggests that editors of the journals have some investigating to do. Of the 98 studies identified by the method, only 16 have already been retracted. [See update at end.] .
The types of studies analyzed — randomized controlled clinical trials — are considered the gold standard of medical evidence, and tend to be the basis for drug approvals and changes in clinical practice. Carlisle, according to an 
editorial by John Loadsman and Tim McCulloch accompanying the new study published today in Anesthesia,


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