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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(Australia) University of Sydney pulls claims elderberries can fight flu – The Age (Liam Mannix | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 25, 2019
 

One of the country’s leading universities has been forced to retract a claim its study showed eating elderberries could help beat the flu after admitting it was overhyping its own science.

The University of Sydney also concealed the research was part-funded by company Pharmacare – which sells elderberry-based flu remedies – at the company’s request.

Although it was declared in the study itself, the university also failed to publicise that a Pharmacare employee was involved in the research.

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(US/China) When DNA science goes down an unethical path in China, who is responsible? – Medical Xpress (Brittany Meiling, et al | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 24, 2019
 

New reports that China is using DNA science developed in San Diego County for widespread ethnic surveillance raise ethical questions about who is responsible for how that technology is used.

The New York Times reported recently that Chinese authorities are building a DNA database of the country’s Uighur minority, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group blamed for a series of terrorist attacks in northwestern China.

Since 2016, there have been regular reports of authorities taking blood samples in the Xinjiang region, where ethnic tensions have been rising. The situation has evolved into a Muslim crackdown in China, with nearly one million Uighurs and other minorities reportedly held in “re-education” camps bent on making Muslims more subservient to the Communist Party. There, Uighurs are being forced to hand over genetic samples, which activists worry could later be used by authorities to chase down any Uighurs who resist the indoctrination.

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The ethics of New Development Economics: is the Experimental Approach to Development Economics morally wrong? (Papers: Stéphane J. Baele)0

Posted by Admin in on May 21, 2019
 

Abstract:
The 2000s have witnessed the arrival and growing popularity of randomized controlled experiments (RCTs) in Development Economics. Whilst this new way of conducting research on development has unfolded important insights, the ethical challenge it provokes has not yet been systematically examined. The present article aims at filling this gap by providing the first ad hoc discussion of the moral issues that accompany the use of RCTs in Development Economics. Claiming that this new research agenda needs its own, specific set of ethical guidelines, we expose the six ethical problems that these experiments potentially provoke and that should therefore be carefully assessed by ethics committees before an RCT is launched and by scholarly journals before its results are published.

Keywords:
Development Economics, ethics, RCTs, experiments

Baele, Stéphane J. (2013) ‘The ethics of New Development Economics: is the Experimental Approach to Development Economics morally wrong?’, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, VII:1
Publisher (Open Access): https://jpe.ro/?id=revista&p=291&cuprins=vizibil

China tightens its regulation of some human gene editing, labeling it ‘high-risk’ – Science (Dennis Normile | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2019
 

In the wake of the shocking news that one of its scientists had produced genetically altered babies, the Chinese government this week issued draft regulations that would require national approval for clinical research involving gene editing and other “high-risk biomedical technologies.” Although some Chinese researchers welcome the move to tighten oversight, there are worries that the rules could impose a burden on areas of genetic research that are not so controversial.

“I am happy to see the national regulations regarding new biomedical technologies; I think this makes relevant policy more clear,” says Wei Jia, a medical oncologist who is involved with an ongoing trial using gene editing to modify cancer patient T-cells at the Affiliated Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School in China.

The regulations are in response to the late November 2018 claim by He Jiankui, then of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, that he had altered the DNA embryos in a way that would give the babies and their descendants resistance to HIV. This approach is called germline engineering—it can involve changing DNA in embryos or sperm or eggs—and is banned in many countries, by law or regulation. He’s effort, using a technique called CRISPR, resulted in twin girls born last fall; one more baby, he said, is on the way. The experiment earned He worldwide condemnation for prematurely using a still glitchy technique that might negatively affect the babies’ development and health in a medically unnecessary and unjustified intervention.

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