Of Tusks and Tuskegee: A Problem in Research Ethics

Xtaldave, by his own admission, has the horn.  Well, if you’re being accurate about it, he has the tusk.  But what’s important is that he has a whopping great piece of ivory to play with. Dave works in the labs here in Manchester, doing clever things with chemicals and science and crystalography and that sort […]

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Is Bird Flu Research a Security Risk?

A story that has had a little airtime on the news over the last 24 hours or so concerns requests by US officials that details of research into a bird flu variant be held back from publication on the grounds that it might be of use to terrorists: The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity recommended […]

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Fighting Fire with a Different Kind of Fire?

How much would I love to have been on the ethics committee that was faced with this? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were interested in a method of treatment for leukaemia that made use of modified versions of white blood cells.  Cells were taken from leukaemia patients and genetically modified in two ways: first, they […]

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Couldn’t find the language – the positive counterparts of risk and hazards

Continuing my recent theme of the impact of language on ethics and decision making I’m presently writing a paper on the use of claims based on justice to object to new technologies such as human enhancement or synthetic biology. In the process of writing this paper I’ve encountered a rather odd gap in our language. […]

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