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bioethics

Category archives for bioethics

It’s déjà vu all over again. 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…

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,…

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…

“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…

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…

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.

Is the case for open access truly “open and shut”? Will open access impede science by limiting genetic studies with families? tags: genetics, genetic privacy, bioethics, open access

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…

Some of us walk by the bus stop and nervously glance at the scruffy-looking man carrying the ragged sign. I try not to breathe through my nose while I read the sign, carefully pretending all the while that I’m not really interested. Ah, it says “Repent! The world will end tomorrow!” I smile since I…

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…