bioethics

It's déjà vu all over again. ... Read more
The first chapter in Arthur Allen's book "Vaccine" describes the history of smallpox vaccination in the United States. In 1721, in Boston, the prevailing belief was that to get vaccinated was to intervene with "divine providence." If you tried to protect yourself, it meant that you lacked faith in God.

Today, I read that a mumps outbreak is

Every year people adopt pet dogs, cats, birds, and other creatures and take them to their local veterinarians for all the usual vaccinations and exams. The usual vaccinations protect your pets from diseases like rabies, distemper, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, and Feline Leukemia. But it's not just pets that get protected by vaccines. Agricultural creatures: fish, chickens, sheep, cows, pigs, and horses receive vaccines and increasingly, wild animals are getting vaccinated, too. ... Read more
The first lab mouse I touched had soft white fur and a light pink tail. It looked cute enough to snuggle and take home as a pet and I was smitten. I slipped my hand into the cage, thinking the mouse would respond like my pet gerbils or my brother's pet rat. As my hand closed around its belly, that sweet little mouse sunk its teeth deep in my thumb. I screamed and shook my hand, smashing the mouse on the cement floor and killing it in an instant. It's been many years now since I've been doing anything with mice or rats. There's much more oversight these days, as DrugMonkey ... Read more
"Did you know," my friend whispered, "that the Humane Society funds terrorists?" I was stunned. What? That's crazy! I've adopted pets from there. No way! How could those be the same people?? My friend and I were suffering from "brand confusion." In business, this happens when different companies use similar names for their products in order to confuse the marketplace. In the animal rights movement, brand confusion is used to misdirect the funds that would otherwise help groups who do genuine humanitarian work. ... Read more
When female bloggers get death threats for comparing a Batman movie to a poor business plan, and friends can have their lab fire bombed for doing plant genetics, it's sometimes a little scary to step into the fray and take a stand on controversial issues. But that's the point. We have to speak out. Scary or not, unless we speak out against the animal rights terrorists who firebomb people's homes and harass ... Read more
Confused about terms like "autonomy" and "beneficance" and their relationship to biomedical research? The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) is offering a short course at the University of Washington, Feb. 29th and March 1st, on Ethics in Science. Registration details and a description are below. An Ethics Shortcourse February 29, 2008, 4-8pm and March 1, 10am-4pm Waterfront Activities Center, University of Washington Registration Deadline: February 15, 2008 To apply online, please visit: https://www.nwabr. ... Read more
Is the case for open access truly "open and shut"? Will open access impede science by limiting genetic studies with families?

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Microsoft's brave new world The April ALPSP conference began with songs for the open access choir. Microsoft's Lee Dirks painted visions of a utopian future where everything will be open, labs shall be judged by the worthiness of their databases, and even scientists will learn to share. According to Dirks, "Open ... Read more
Reposted from the original Digitalbio. About a decade ago, I took a fascinating summer course at the UW on bioethics. We read about the Nuremburg trials and the Geneva conventions. We learned about horizon problems and eugenics. And we discussed lots of challenging scenarios with genetic testing, autonomy, family relationships, and the problems faced by people seeking to have children, trying to get insurance, or looking for a job. So naturally, when I started a biotechnology course for non-science majors (Biotechnology and Society) at our community college, I used many of those ... Read more
I recently completed a long trip out-of-town, giving a presentation at a Bio-Link conference in Berkeley, and teaching a couple of bioinformatics classes at the University of Texas, through the National Science Foundation's Chautauqua program. The Human Subjects Protection Course Before I left town, I had to take a class on how to treat human subjects. It seems strange, in some ways, to be doing this now, several years after completing graduate school, but ... Read more

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