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(France) He Was a Science Star. Then He Promoted a Questionable Cure for Covid-19 – New York Times Magazine (Scott Sayare | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 23, 2020
 

The man behind Trump’s favorite unproven treatment has made a great career assailing orthodoxy. His claim of a 100 percent cure rate shocked scientists around the world.

When diagnosing the ills afflicting modern science, an entertainment that, along with the disparagement of his critics and fellow researchers, he counts among his great delights, the eminent French microbiologist Didier Raoult will lightly stroke his beard, lean back in his seat and, with a thin but unmistakable smile, declare the poor patient to be stricken with pride. Raoult, who has achieved international fame since his proposed treatment for Covid-19 was touted as a miracle cure by President Trump, believes that his colleagues fail to see that their ideas are the products of mere intellectual fashions — that they are hypnotized by methodology into believing that they understand what they do not and that they lack the discipline of mind that would permit them to comprehend their error. “Hubris,” Raoult told me recently, at his institute in Marseille, “is the most common thing in the world.” It is a particularly dangerous malady in doctors like him, whose opinions are freighted with the responsibility of life and death. “Someone who doesn’t know is less stupid than someone who wrongly thinks he does,” he said. “Because it is a terrible thing to be wrong.”

Gary’s view of the Commander in Tweet dropped further this week.  Is it possible to have an approval rating below zero?  After the US President announced he was taking hydroxychloroquine to ward off COVID-19, FOX News warned its viewers that copying the President could be lethal.  The response?   The President tweeted Fox’s standards were dropping and he was looking for another news outlet … 😐 …

Raoult, who founded and directs the research hospital known as the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection, or IHU, has made a great career assailing orthodoxy, in both word and practice. “There’s nothing I like more than blowing up a theory that’s been so nicely established,” he once said. He has a reputation for bluster but also for a certain creativity. He looks where no one else cares to, with methods no one else is using, and finds things. In just the past 10 years, he has helped identify nearly 500 novel species of human-borne bacteria, about one-fifth of all those named and described. Until recently, he was perhaps best known as the discoverer of the first giant virus, a microbe that, in his opinion, suggests that viruses ought to be considered a fourth and separate domain of living things. The discovery helped win him the Grand Prix Inserm, one of France’s top scientific prizes. It also led him to believe that the tree of life suggested by Darwinian evolution is “entirely false,” he told me, and that Darwin himself “wrote nothing but inanities.” He detests consensus and comity; he believes that science, and life, ought to be a fight.
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It is in this spirit that, over the objections of his peers, and no doubt because of them, too, he has promoted a combination of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, and azithromycin, a common antibiotic, as a remedy for Covid-19. He has taken to declaring, “We know how to cure the disease.” Trump was not the only one eager to embrace this possibility. By the time I arrived in Marseille, some version of Raoult’s treatment regimen had been authorized for testing or use in France, Italy, China, India and numerous other countries. One in every five registered drug trials in the world was testing hydroxychloroquine.
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Friday afternoon’s funny – Somethings should not be trialled at the same time, in the same place0

Posted by Admin in on May 22, 2020
 

Cartoon by Don Mayne www.researchcartoons.com
Full-size image for printing (right mouse click and save file)

When planning a trial it’s important to sit back and think about how the details will work in the planned setting.  If research ethics review is focussed on facilitating excellent ethical research hopefully it can also potentially spot a situation that’s going to go in an unexpected direction.  A trial might comply with the rules, but is still a bad idea.

(Australia) Calls for Australian Defence Force chloroquine COVID-19 drug trial to be halted – ABC News (Grace Tobin | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 18, 2020
 

An East Timor veteran suffering long term health issues after taking part in a controversial drug trial is horrified that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is once again trialling on its personnel, this time for COVID-19.

Wayne Karakyriacos said he feels betrayed by Defence for pushing ahead with a new clinical trial when he and other veterans are still struggling mentally and physically from past trials.

“Twenty years I’ve been suffering with an acquired brain injury,” he told 7.30.

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Reconsidering Dynamic Consent in Biobanking: Ethical and Political Consequences of Transforming Research Participants Into ICT Users (Papers: Alexandra Soulier | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 14, 2020
 

Abstract:
Biobanks are not new. However, the scope of their application is growing, especially in genomics. Biobanks are also currently being reorganized to enable more genomic samples to be made available for different types of studies. Some future uses of the biobanks cannot be anticipated.

Keywords:
Genomics, Bioinformatics, Real-time systems, Internet, Information and communication technology, Law

Soulier, A. (2019) “Reconsidering Dynamic Consent in Biobanking: Ethical and Political Consequences of Transforming Research Participants Into ICT Users,” in IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 62-70, June 2019.
Publisher: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8733941å

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