ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Of mice and men: why animal trial results don’t always translate to humans – The Conversation (Ri Scarborough & John Zalcberg | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 1, 2017

Throughout the era of modern medicine, animals have been used extensively to develop and test therapies before they are tested in humans. Virtually every medical therapy in use today – including drugs, vaccines, surgical techniques, devices such as pacemakers and joint prostheses, radiation therapy – owes its existence, at some level, to animal experiments.

In the often contentious and strident discussion about the use of animals in clinical research, defenders refer to some animals being useful alternatives to humans in risky and uncertain research on new drugs and other treatments. In this Conversation piece Ri Scarborough & John Zalcberg argue perhaps they aren’t good alternatives after all. This entry is probably more about animal ethics and scientific methodology, but we thought it worth sharing with researches, research ethics reviewers and research office staff

Animals have played a pivotal role in countless life-saving discoveries in the modern era. For example, in crude experiments in the 1800s, dogs were injected with extracts made from the pancreases of other animals, which led to insulin therapy for human diabetes. Much more recently, genetically modified mice were used to develop revolutionary cancer immunotherapy drugs, such as that credited with curing advanced melanoma in AFL footballer Jarryd Roughead.
In developing and testing drugs for human use, animal trials give us extremely valuable information that is impossible to get from test tube or petri dish experiments alone. They tell us how a drug is absorbed and spread around the body in a living animal and how it affects the targeted, and other, tissues. They also tell us how the body processes and eliminates a drug – for most drugs, this is primarily done by the liver and kidneys.

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Controversial Australian journalist’s paper flagged by journal – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 26, 2017

The Journal of Biological Chemistry has added an expression of concern to a 2003 paper that arose from the PhD thesis of a once-prominent — and controversial — science journalist in Australia.

The first author of the paper is Maryanne Demasi, a journalist whose reporting created unintentional headlines in recent years. In 2013, she produced a controversial series about cholesterol and fat (and even cast doubt on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins); in 2016, she was fired from the science program Catalyst, after it aired an episode alleging wi-fi could cause brain tumors.

Now, it appears the research community is taking a second look at some of the work underlying her PhD in rheumatology from Royal Adelaide Hospital. Here’s the notice from the journal:

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Clinical trials revolution could change the future of medical research – The Guardian (Chris Chambers | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 24, 2017

With the stakes in clinical research so high, today sees the launch of a new and much-needed way of reporting clinical trials

In tumultuous times, it is easy to miss the fact that science is undergoing a quiet revolution. For several years now, concerns have been peaking in biomedicine about the reliability of published research – that the results of too many studies cannot be reproduced when the methods are repeated. Alongside growing discontent, the scientific community has answered by driving forward a raft of open science reforms. From initiatives to making research data publicly available, to ensuring that all published research can be read by the public, the aim of these reforms is simple: to make science more credible and accessible, for the benefit of other scientists and the public who fund scientific research.

Today one of these reforms takes hold for the first time in clinical medicine: a new type of journal article called a Registered Report in which the journal commits to publishing clinical trials regardless of their outcome. This might sound like common sense – because that’s exactly what it is – but in the competitive world of science and academia it represents a significant departure from the status quo.

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(China) Hospital Director Accused of Plagiarizing Students’ Work – Sixth Tone (Fan Yiying | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 23, 2017

Prominent oncologist thanked the two students whose theses he is suspected of copying for their ‘help and support’ in his research.

A hospital director in eastern China has been accused of plagiarizing his students’ papers for his own doctoral dissertation, Beijing-based newspaper China Youth Daily reported Thursday.

Cai Jianchun, a prominent oncologist, holds the titles of director of Xiamen University-affiliated Zhongshan Hospital and executive vice president of the university’s medical school. He is also a recipient of the country’s highest medical research award for significant contributions to the medical field, for which he now receives a special grant from the State Council, China’s cabinet.

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