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

Artificial Intelligence Could Dig Up Cures Buried Online – Wired (Bahar Gholipour | November 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on February 21, 2017

THIS SUMMER, RIVA-MELISSA Tez was searching online for research that might help her father. He’d gone into a coma after suffering a stroke, and she wondered what the latest recommendations said—whether playing music to him in his native language could keep him connected to this world, or if giving him Prozac could boost his chances of recovery as it had done for mice in a study last year. Doctors are so busy saving lives, she thought, that they couldn’t possibly keep up with all the papers published every day.

Her concern is shared by doctors, who wonder what they could be missing in the 2.5 million scientific papers published every year. Popular sites like MedCalc and UptoDate are useful tools for doctors to consult diagnostic criteria and double check on treatment guidelines. But there’s plenty of room for improvement, and some believe artificial intelligence could be a solution to science overload: machine learning assistants to read incoming papers, distill their information, and highlight relevant findings.

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Are Phase I Trials Ethical? – In the Pipeline (Derek Lowe | January 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 19, 2017

It’s been a year since the clinical trial disaster in France that led to several participants being hospitalized with brain damage. Back in November, the New England Journal of Medicine had an article about the affair, summarizing what was known:

The healthy volunteers described in this article participated in a phase 1 study of BIA 10-2474, a new FAAH inhibitor. They had received the highest cumulative dose (250 to 300 mg) administered to humans. A total of 84 healthy volunteers had previously received cumulative doses of up to 200 mg of BIA 10-2474. No clinical severe adverse event had been reported. The product contained in the capsules administered to all the volunteers was the same as that used for the toxicology studies, and assays confirmed that it was of high purity.These data suggest that the toxic effects we observed were related to drug accumulation. This hypothesis is supported by the nonlinear pharmacokinetics of BIA 10-2474 for doses higher than 40 to 100 mg.

MRI studies and others showed many lesions (microhemorrhages or edema) in the hippocampus and pons of each affected patient, but the exact mechanism for these is still not known. FAAH itself is not expressed in the pons region, and endocannabinoids have not been associated with this sort of toxicity. Whether this was something new in that line, an off-target effect of the compound or a metabolite, or something we haven’t even thought of yet is still unknown.

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Friday afternoon funny – Urgent or just last minute review applications0

Posted by Admin in on February 17, 2017

Health workers and patient in an operating room wait anxiously for ethical clearance

Cartoon by Don Mayne – Why you should not leave research ethics review until the last moment

Cartoon by Don Mayne

Terminology and timing matter. For researchers: An application/variation isn’t urgent if you did not plan for the usual review turnaround. For reviewers and institutions: Do you have agile mechanisms for situations that are genuinely urgent?

Friday afternoon funny – Following the rules and the responsibilities of researchers0

Posted by Admin in on February 10, 2017

Research participant reduced to ashes by a scanner

Cartoon by Don Mayne – Why sticking to the protocol (or the rulebook) doesn’t necessarily always equate to doing the research well

Cartoon by Don Mayne