Science Progress | Where science, technology, and progressive policy meet

NEUROSCIENCE

A Light Revolution in Neuroscience

Optogenetics opens the door to understanding how specific types of neurons contribute to brain function, but the ethics of using it in humans needs serious consideration.

LIFE SCIENCES

Drug Regulation in all the Wrong Places

The FDA’s myopic focus on early-stage testing and lack of emphasis on phase four human clinical trials has led to many safety-related drug recalls in recent years, meriting a reexamination of our regulatory system.

Synchronized Disclosure

Last week, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors issued a new policy for the transparent disclosure of conflicts of interest for the authors of papers published by journals in the consortium. A coalition of advocates have been pushing for [...]

RESEARCH ETHICS

Lab Bench Ethics

The ethics of data selection, the potential conflicts of peer review, the “soft money lifestyle” of grant recipients, and other issues facing researchers.

RESEARCH ETHICS

Financial Conflicts of Interest 101

Conflicts of interest are a special concern in biomedical research because they have the potential to influence the outcome of study results or clinical trials, leading to results that favor certain products or unnecessary risks for patients. New rules may curb the undue influence.

RESEARCH ETHICS

Can We Bank on Objectivity?

Managing financial conflicts of interest is a complicated policy matter, as researchers and their institutions often receive both public and private funding to support research that leads to new treatments. But research also indicates these conflicts are widespread and ingrained. How far should we go in addressing the issue?

FDA Redraws the Rules for International Drug Trials

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently decided to no longer hold pharmaceutical companies to the standards of the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki while conducting human drug trials. The change poses bioethical dilemmas when U.S. companies conduct trials on foreign soil. Merrill Goozner is currently reporting from Russia, which could become “ground zero” for discussion about the shift in policy.

Going Off-Label to Get On the Wagon

AlcoholThe University of Virginia is being accused of encouraging doctors to prescribe Johnson & Johnson’s anti-seizure and migraine drug Topamax “off-label” to treat alcoholism. But is the medicine safe for treating alcoholics without FDA approval?