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December 1, 2010

View Archives Issues

  • Guatemalan research travesty raises new questions for IRBs

    The recent shocking disclosure that U.S. public health officials sanctioned a study in Guatemala 64 years ago in which people were deliberately infected with sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) for research purposes has brought home the message to IRBs that transparency is absolutely critical in human subjects research.
  • Boost education in light of Guatemala revelation

    IRB members and research offices need to add the Guatemalan experiment to their human subjects research training and redouble efforts to educate the public about the high level of ethics and protections in research projects today, experts say.
  • Ethical issues arise with research on Internet

    One of the strangest new areas of research ethics involves how IRBs should handle research that involves Internet communities, including virtual communities.
  • Websites allow studies to cast wide net for subjects

    Researchers go to all sorts of lengths to attract participants for surveys and other types of non-clinical research recruiting Psych 101 students, posting fliers, handing out gift cards, etc. But a new method of recruitment takes advantage of an existing Internet trend toward outsourcing tasks to thousands of computer users around the world.
  • Reviewing research on Mechanical Turk

    Amazon's Mechanical Turk offers investigators the chance to survey thousands of respondents quickly and cheaply via computer while protecting their anonymity. Once IRBs understand how the system works, approval should be a slam dunk, right?
  • 23andMe gene test firm uses samples for research

    Here, a person can purchase a testing kit, submit a saliva sample, and access a secure online report regarding his or her genotype that links results to research about disease risks, carrier risks, physical traits and drug responses. For an additional fee, the customer also can explore his or her ancestry and even link up with other customers whose DNA closely matches theirs.
  • Patients work together to amass health data

    The CureTogether website allows participants to log in anonymously to answer questions about diseases or conditions they may have and the various treatments they have used, along with the effectiveness of those treatments.