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May 29, 2009

How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data

The frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct is a matter of controversy. Many surveys have asked scientists directly whether they have committed or know of a colleague who committed research misconduct, but their results appeared difficult to compare and synthesize. This is the first meta-analysis of these surveys. (PLoS ONE)

What are parents’ rights regarding a child’s medical treatment?

Perhaps no one is watching the Daniel Hauser case in Minnesota more closely than Theresa and Greg Maxin in Ohio. Seven years ago, the Maxins found themselves fighting to keep their own son from having chemotherapy. But the two families’ stories ended quite differently. (CNN)

Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Mute Ethical Debate

A team of experts led by Kim Kwang-soo, head of the Cha Medical Center’s stem cell institute, said they successfully generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from human fibroblasts, or cells used by the body to synthesize new tissue, by injecting them with a cocktail of “reprogramming” proteins. (The Korea Times)

Video can help seniors make end-of-life decisions

A new study suggests that elderly patients are able to make more informed decisions about their “end-of-life” care after viewing a video showing a patient with advanced dementia. (

New Issue of Archives of Internal Medicine is Now Available

Archives of Internal Medicine (Volume 169, Number 10, May 25, 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Imaging Idolatry: The Uneasy Intersection of Patient Satisfaction, Quality of Care, and Overuse” by Richard A. Deyo, 921-923.
  • “Health Care Information Technology: A Cloud Around the Silver Lining?” by David Liebovitz, 924-926.
  • “Discussions With Physicians About Hospice Among Patients With Metastatic Lung Cancer” by Haiden A. Huskamp, Nancy L. Keating, Jennifer L. Malin, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Jane C. Weeks, Craig C. Earle, Joan M. Teno, Beth A. Virnig, Katherine L. Kahn, Yulei He, and John Z. Ayanian, 954-962.
  • “Bereavement Practices of Physicians in Oncology and Palliative Care” by Nicole G. Chau, Camilla Zimmermann, Clement Ma, Nathan Taback, and Monika K. Krzyzanowska, 963-971.
  • “Prescription Errors and Outcomes Related to Inconsistent Information Transmitted Through Computerized Order Entry: A Prospective Study” by Hardeep Singh, Shrinidi Mani, Donna Espadas, Nancy Petersen, Veronica Franklin, and Laura A. Petersen, 982-989.

New Issue of Journal of the American Medical Association is Now Available

JAMA (Volume 301, Number 19, May 20, 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Regulating the Safety of Pharmaceuticals: The FDA, Preemption, and the Public’s Health” by Lawrence O. Gostin, 2036-2037.
  • “The Patient-Centered Medical Home: Will It Stand the Test of Health Reform?” by Diane R. Rittenhouse and Stephen M. Shortell, 2038-2040.
  • “The Origin of Clinical Organ Transplantation Revisited” by Thomas E. Starzl and Clyde Barker, 2041-2043.
  • “Resource Use, Patient Education, and Improving the Quality of Health Care” by Steve G. Hubbard, 1990.
  • “Studies Comparing Treatments Ramp Up” by Mike Mitka, 1975.
  • “Campaign Aims to Boost Adult Vaccinations” by Rebecca Voelker, 1976.

May 28, 2009

Louisville close to clinical trials of stem cell treatment for macular degeneration

A UofL researcher is leading the way in a potential cure for macular degeneration. Dr. Henry Kaplan, who routinely treats patients for the disease, says even today 90% of people with age-related macular degeneration really don’t have an effective treatment. So news that researchers at UofL may be close to finding a cure with the help of the patient’s own stem cells is creating a lot of excitement. Although studies in humans aren’t starting just yet, patients may not have long to wait. (WAVE 3 TV)

Adult Bone Marrow Stem Cells Injected Into Skeletal Muscle Can Repair Heart Tissue

University at Buffalo researchers have demonstrated for the first time that injecting adult bone marrow stem cells into skeletal muscle can repair cardiac tissue, reversing heart failure. (ScienceDaily)

Australia: Stem cells used to help cure sight loss

Stem cells were harvested from the eyes of each patient and then cultured inside a contact lens, which was then stuck onto a damaged cornea in a “transplant” of regenerative cells. (

New Issue of Trends in Biotechnology is Now Available

Trends in Biotechnology (Volume 27, Issue 6, June 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “The complexity of cellular dedifferentiation: implications for regenerative medicine” by Gideon Grafi, 329.
  • “Interrogating single proteins through nanopores: challenges and opportunities” by Liviu Movileanu, 333.
  • “High-throughput cellular microarray platforms: applications in drug discovery, toxicology and stem cell research” by Tiago G. Fernandes, Maria Margarida Diogo, Douglas S. Clark, Jonathan S. Dordick, and Joaquim M.S. Cabral, 342.
  • “Convergence of biomarkers, bioinformatics and nanotechnology for individualized cancer treatment” by John H. Phan, Richard A. Moffitt, Todd H. Stokes, Jian Liu, Andrew N. Young, Shuming Nie, and May D. Wang, 350.
  • “Polymeric heart valves: new materials, emerging hopes” by Hossein Ghanbari, Helene Viatge, Asmeret G. Kidane, Gaetano Burriesci, Mehdi Tavakoli, Alexander M. Seifalian, 359.
  • “Synthetic gene networks: the next wave in biotechnology?” by Kaustubh D. Bhalerao, 368.


New Issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics is Now Available

The American Journal of Human Genetics (Volume 84, Issue 5, May 15, 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Multilocus Bayesian Meta-Analysis of Gene-Disease Association” by Paul J. Newcombe, Claudio Verzilli, Juan P. Casas, Aroon D. Hingorani, Liam Smeeth, and John C. Whittaker, 567.
  • “The Diversity Present in 5140 Human Mitochondrial Genome” by Luísa Pereira, Fernando Freitas, Verónica Fernandes, Joana B. Pereira, Marta D. Costa, Stephanie Costa, Valdemar Máximo, Vincent Macaulay, Ricardo Rocha, and David C. Samuels, 628.
  • “Genome-wide Insights into the Patterns and Determinants of Fine-Scale Population Structure in Humans” by Shameek Biswas, Laura B. Scheinfeldt, and Joshua M. Akey, 641.

Book Reviews Include:

  • “Genetic Effects on Environmental Vulnerability to Disease” by Heather M. Ochs-Balcom, 557.

May 27, 2009

World first: Japanese scientists create transgenic monkeys

In a controversial achievement, Japanese scientists announced on Wednesday they had created the world’s first transgenic primates, breeding monkeys with a gene that made the animals’ skin glow a fluorescent green. (PhysOrg)

Genetics-based products stir concerns

Whether it is a new skin care product that promises to “reactivate” the youth in your genes or tests that offer nutrition advice tailored to your DNA, the age of consumer genetics is here. (Boston Globe)

Health care quality showing slow improvement

Hospitals advance more quickly on quality than physician practices, a new report says. Patient safety and health disparities show less progress. (American Medical News)

License for turning stem cells into heart cells

The Madison company founded by stem cell pioneer James Thomson has an exclusive license agreement with a New York medical school to turn stem cells into heart cells. (Chicago Tribune)

Draft stem-cell guidelines criticized

As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) begins finalizing guidelines to govern US funding of human embryonic stem-cell research, an initial ripple of researcher worry has swollen into a near-unanimous wave of concern that virtually all existing stem cell lines would be disqualified if the draft guidelines were adopted as written, with their strict informed-consent provisions. (Nature News)

New Issue of Journal of American Medical Association is Now Available

JAMA (Volume 301, Number 18, May 13, 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Articles Include:

  • “Policies on Donation After Cardiac Death at Children’s Hospitals: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Variation” by Armand H. Matheny Antommaria, Karen Trotochaud, Kathy Kinlaw, Paul N. Hopkins, and Joel Frader, 1902-1908.
  • “Oversimplifying Primary Care Supply and Shortages” by Gary L. Freed and James A. Stockman, 1920-1922.
  • “The Chasm Between Intention and Achievement in Primary Care” by Richard J. Baron, 1922-1924.
  • “Grow the US National Health Service Corps” by Jonathan F. Saxton and Michael M. E. Johns, 1925-1926.
  • Commitment to Care for the Community” by Catherine D. DeAngelis, 1929-1930.
  • “Insurance Parity and Outpatient Care Following a Psychiatric Hospitalization” by Brason Lee and Glen L. Xiong, 1880-1881.
  • “Drug Addiction as a Brain Disorder or Disease” by Nelson Borelli, 1881.
  • “Associations Say No to Industry Funding” by Bridget M. Kuehn, 1865-1866.
  • “More Safety Data Sought for High-Risk Devices” by Rebecca Voelker, 1867
  • “IRB Oversight Questioned” by Mike Mitka, 1868.
  • “BPA Ban Proposed” by Mike Mitka, 1868.
  • “Unbiased Drug Information” by Mike Mitka, 1868.

Book and Media Reviews Include:

  • “Biosecurity in the Global Age: Biological Weapons, Public Health, and the Rule of Law” by Amesh A. Adalja, 1932-1933.
  • “Kidney Transplantation: Principles and Practice” by Edgar V. Lerma, 1934-1935.
  • “Understanding Assisted Suicide: Nine Issues to Consider” by Reggie Duling, 1937-1938.

New Issue of Archives of Neurology is Now Available

Archives of Neurology (Volume 66, Number 5, May 2009) is now available by subscription only.

Book Reviews Include:

  • “Ethical Issues in Neurology, 3rd ed” by Scott Y. H. Kim, 673-674.

New Issue of Archives of Internal Medicine is Now Available

Archives of Internal Medicine (Volume 169, Number 9, May 11, 2009) is now available by subscription only. 

Articles Include:

  • Time for the Medical Profession to Act: New Policies Needed Now on Interactions Between Pharmaceutical Companies and Physicians” by Philip Greenland, 829-831.
  • “Effect of Exposure to Small Pharmaceutical Promotional Items on Treatment Preferences” by David Grande, Dominick L. Frosch, Andrew W. Perkins, and Barbara E. Kahn, 887-893.
  • “Cost-effectiveness of Strategies for Monitoring the Response to Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-Limited Settings” by Andrew N. Phillips, Charles Gilks, DPhil, and Jens D. Lundgren, 904.

May 26, 2009

Many terminally ill patients delay talk of hospice, Harvard study finds

Americans tend to procrastinate when it comes to matters involving death and dying, but a Harvard Medical School study published yesterday finds that even many terminally ill patients and their doctors put off conversations about end-of-life choices. (The Boston Globe)

Report: Collins to lead NIH

Francis Collins, the geneticist who led the Human Genome Project, is close to taking over the top spot at the National Institutes of Health, according to a report by Bloomberg News. (The Scientist)


The Bioethics Poll
Should individuals and/or institutions be allowed to patent human genes?
Yes, with some qualifications

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Which area of research should more money be invested in:
Animal-Human Hybrids
Gene Therapy
Reproductive Technology
Stem Cell Research
"Therapeutic" Cloning
None of the above

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