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A Russian Biologist Wants To Create More Gene-Edited Babies – NPR (Rob Stein | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 20, 2019
 

A Russian scientist says he wants to create more genetically modified babies, flouting international objections that such a step would be premature, unethical and irresponsible.

Denis Rebrikov, a molecular biologist who heads a gene-editing lab at the Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology in Moscow, claims he has developed a safe — and therefore acceptable — way to create gene-edited babies.

“How it can be unethical if we will make [a] healthy baby instead of diseased?” Rebrikov told NPR during his first broadcast interview. “Why? Why [is it] unethical?”

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Alarmed by new ‘CRISPR babies’ plan, top science figures say they’re powerless to stop it – STAT (Rick Berke | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 19, 2019
 

ASPEN, Colo. — Two influential leaders in science for the first time publicly condemned a Russian biologist who said he plans to produce gene-edited babies but conceded that it was beyond their organizations’ authority to halt him from doing so.

In separate interviews with STAT over the weekend, Margaret Hamburg, co-chair of an international advisory committee on human genome-editing, and Victor Dzau, president of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, said they were deeply concerned by the plans outlined by Russian scientist Denis Rebrikov.

Still, said Hamburg, “I don’t know where we get the teeth to do some of what may ultimately need to be done’’ to respond in such situations.

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Tell the World – Exposing how China is creating the world’s largest prison – ABC Four Corners (July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 16, 2019
 

On 15th July, ABC 4Corners ran a documentary examining develop the use of AI to profile and track activities non-Han populations in China. One Australian commentator argued that, in providing technical assistance, Australian universities were being ‘complicit in the human rights abuses’ (Assoc Prof James Leibold, La Trobe University). UTS told 4Corners that it was reviewing its relationships with a Chinese state-owned military tech company while Curtin is reviewing its research approval procedures.

Other universities may want to consider the mechanisms that they have that allow them to explore the ethics of the end use of technology that they develop and the degree to which it might be intended for or repurposed for the use of state security or military purposes. The biomedical literature has explored the dangers of dual use, but the 4Corners investigation pointed to problems that are much easier to anticipate, in this case work contracted directly with Australian university partners by Chinese state enterprises with military connections.

ASSOC PROF. JAMES LEIBOLD, ethnic policy in China, La Trobe University: I think… universities here in Australia that have connections with any Party State company, particularly in the military or security sector, needs to end those contracts, and to pull out of those collaborative arrangement. I mean, essentially by doing that, we’re being complicit in the human rights abuses that are occurring in Xinjiang and in China more widely.

EXCERPT FROM THE ITEM

“People started to literally disappear, communities were being emptied of adult men and women.” China researcher

It’s a remote corner of the world, but what is taking place there is nothing short of breathtaking.

“My older brother, younger brothers and two younger sisters, five siblings were all taken by… masked police. Heavily armed Special Forces police raided their home and taken (sic) them by covering their face and shackling them in front of the kids.” Australian Uyghur

Xinjiang province is a vast area of deserts and mountains where the ancient Silk Road once ran. Today its Uyghur population is being systematically rounded up with estimates of as many as a million citizens being held in detention.

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(Includes audio and transcript)

UGC move to thwart ‘pay and publish trash’ culture – Hindustan Times (Rajeev Mullick | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 15, 2019
 

UGC secretary Rajnish Jain has issued a public notice on academic integrity for Indian academic community dated.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has made it clear that any publications in predatory, dubious journals or presentations and dubious conferences will not be considered for academic selection, confirmation, promotion, performance and appraisal, besides award of scholarship or academic degrees or credits in any form.

This move by an Indian research funding body is commendable and worth emulating by bodies in other jurisdictions and by institutions.  We have included links to eight related items.

UGC secretary Rajnish Jain has issued a public notice on academic integrity for Indian academic community dated June 14, 2019. It reads: With immediate effect, research publications only from journals indexed in UCG-CARE List should be used for all academic purposes. Any attempt of compromised academic integrity should be challenged, questioned and de-recognised all levels, it reads.
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The UGC has setup a consortium for academics and research ethics (CARE) to identify, monitor and maintain ‘UCG-CARE Reference List of Quality Journals’ available at the , with useful resources as relevant publications, audio visual materials, videos, web link etc. UCG-CARE website also provides FAQ’s, feedback and grievance redressal mechanism.
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