Human and Animal Experimentation Links

'A robot is my friend': Can machines care for elderly?

With the world's elderly population growing rapidly, scientists are suggesting that robots could take on some of the burden of providing care, support and - most surprisingly - companionship.

A boy born today in Britain is expected to live on average to the age of 91, a girl to 94.

Worldwide 1.5 billion people over the age of 65 are expected to be around in 2050. Read more...




Human medical experiments go terribly wrong in "nightmare" TGN1412 drug trial

Link recommended by Disha Jain

"We told ya so" just doesn't cut it. Barely ten days after Truth Publishing warned the public about the dangers of medical experimentation on humans, a disastrous pharmaceutical experiment has left six men fighting for their lives.

The scene was a living medical hell, say witnesses. After being injected with the anti-inflammatory drug TGN1412, patients began tearing their shirts off, screaming that their heads were going to explode. One patient's head swelled to triple its normal size, and patients were soon passing out, vomiting, or screaming in sheer terror. Read more...




Testing Drugs on the Developing World

Link recommended by Rachel Funk

The purpose of clinical trials is to find out if the newest wonder drug is all that wonderful, and what kind of side effects we humans might expect. It worked on animals, but will this drug kill people, and/or turn them green? Every warning you see on a label is there because a test subject -- or 50 of them, or 500 of them -- have suffered that side effect. Read more...




Were Tuskegee & Willowbrook 'Studies in Nature'?

By David J. Rothman
Link recommended by Tyler Watkins

The book jacket of Bad Blood, James Jones's recent account of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, describes the project as one in which "science went mad" (New York: Free Press, 1981). Apparently the case is exceptional, an abberation from normal biomedical research behavior. But put the Tuskegee experiment alongside the Willowbrook experiments of the 1950s and 1960s, in which retarded and institutionalized children were injected with live hepatitus viruses, and clearly something other than "mad science" was at stake. Read More...




Study of Babies Did Not Disclose Risks, U.S. Finds

Link recommended by Emily Laird

A federal agency has found that a number of prestigious universities failed to tell more than a thousand families in a government-financed study of oxygen levels for extremely premature babies that the risks could include increased chances of blindness or death.

None of the families have yet been notified of the findings from the Office for Human Research Protections, which safeguards people who participate in government-financed research. But the agency’s conclusions were listed in great detail in a letter last month to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the lead site in the study. In all, 23 academic institutions took part, including Stanford, Duke and Yale. Read More...




Unethical Clinical Trials Still Being Conducted in Developing Countries

By Michael Carome
Link recommended by Timothy Liu

In 1997, Public Citizen's Health Research Group brought widespread international attention to unethical clinical trials. The trials were testing new methods for preventing the spread of HIV infection from pregnant women to their babies before or after giving birth in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In each of these trials, most of which were funded by the U.S. government, some women were randomly assigned to receive placebos or other treatments known to be ineffective, rather than a drug proven effective in preventing the spread of HIV infection from mother to baby.

Unfortunately, nearly 20 years later, similarly unethical trials continue to be conducted. One recent such trial in India, reported in The Lancet in June, evaluated an experimental vaccine for preventing a very common, potentially life-threatening viral infection called rotavirus. Two rotavirus vaccines have been available for the past decade: RotaTeq, marketed by Merck & Co., and Rotarix, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline. Large clinical trials of both vaccines demonstrated that they were highly effective in preventing rotavirus-induced gastroenteritis -- including the most severe cases -- and the need for hospitalization. Despite the availability of these vaccines, more than 2,000 children in the India trial received placebo injections of salt water rather than one of the available effective vaccines. Read More...




Deaths of three beagles spur ads decrying animal research in Denver

By Kieran Nicholson
Link recommended by Sarah Jarudi

A national physicians group wanting an end to the use of animals as research subjects in scientific and medical studies has launched its latest advertising campaign in Denver, and it's centered on the deaths of three research dogs in Colorado.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit organization formed in 1985 and based in Washington, D.C., has targeted Denver with ads about three beagles that died in 2011 at the CARE Research facility in Fort Collins. Read More...




Deception at Duke: Fraud in cancer care?

Link recommended by Sudad Kazzaz

Chemotherapy can be a tough road for people with cancer, often debilitating and even dangerous. Which is why five years ago, when Duke University announced that it had an advanced, experimental treatment that would match chemotherapy to a patient's own genetic makeup, it was hailed as the holy grail of cancer care. The scientist behind the discovery was Dr. Anil Potti, and soon Dr. Potti became the face of the future of cancer treatment at Duke, offering patients a better chance even with advanced disease. However, when other scientists set out to verify the results, they found many problems and errors. What our 60 Minutes investigation reveals is that Duke's so-called breakthrough treatment wasn't just a failure -- it may end up being one of the biggest medical research frauds ever. Watch the interview




How A Tilt Toward Safety Stopped A Scientist's Virus Research

Link recommended by Dinesh Majeti

As cases of a worrisome respiratory virus continue to pop up in the Middle East, scientists who study it in the U.S. are struggling to understand how they'll be affected by a government moratorium on certain kinds of experiments.

One of those researchers is Ralph Baric, a virologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. "Any virus that has pandemic potential, and that's any respiratory virus that emerges from animals, is a major public health concern," Baric says. Listen to the story




Are Placebos Ethical?

By John C. Goodman
Link recommended by Karl Kyeongan Kwon

The power of placebos to heal has long been recognized. Thomas Jefferson wrote about it. So did Benjamin Franklin. Debate over the ethics of placebos also has a long history – roughly 170 years. But there has been no resolution. Doctors are still in disagreement about whether it is ethical to proscribe a placebo without the patient’s consent. Of course if the patient knows the therapy is a placebo, much of its effectiveness is lost. But there is also disagreement about the meaning of the word “consent.” Read more ...




Scientists condemn 'crazy, dangerous' creation of deadly airborne flu virus

Link recommended by Kwami Antwi-Boasiako

Scientists have created a life-threatening virus that closely resembles the 1918 Spanish flu strain that killed an estimated 50m people in an experiment labelled as "crazy" by opponents.

US researchers said the experiments were crucial for understanding the public health risk posed by viruses currently circulating in wild birds, but critics condemned the studies as dangerous and called on funders to stop the work. Read more ...




Internet outraged by Facebook's 'creepy' mood experiment

By Charles Riley
Link recommended by Malcolm Dcosta

Everyone has a bad day on occasion. But what if Facebook made it worse -- on purpose, and without telling you?

Internet users have reacted angrily to news that Facebook researchers manipulated the content some users were shown in an attempt to gauge their emotional response.

For one week in early 2012, Facebook (FB, Tech30) changed the content mix in the News Feeds of almost 690,000 users. Some people were shown a higher number of positive posts, while others were shown more negative posts. Read more ...




Genetic engineering of animals: Ethical issues, including welfare concerns

By Elisabeth H. Ormandy, Julie Dale, Gilly Griffin
Link recommended by Ashik Khatri

The genetic engineering of animals has increased significantly in recent years, and the use of this technology brings with it ethical issues, some of which relate to animal welfare — defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health as “the state of the animal…how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives” (1). These issues need to be considered by all stakeholders, including veterinarians, to ensure that all parties are aware of the ethical issues at stake and can make a valid contribution to the current debate regarding the creation and use of genetically engineered animals. Read more ...




Building Trust for Engagement of Minorities in Human Subjects Research: Is the Glass Half Full, Half Empty, or the Wrong Size?

Link recommended by Sonia Jiwani

In 1974, in the aftermath of Tuskegee, Congress passed the National Research Act (Pub. L. No. 93-348), creating the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research as well as US federal regulations providing, for the first time, formal oversight of research with human participants. The Belmont Report, perhaps the most enduring legacy of the Commission, outlined three ethical principles to guide human research, and imposed new requirements for independent institutional review board assessment to ensure that research was consistent with these principles, reasonable with regard to risks and benefits, had appropriate informed consent procedures, and involved vulnerable groups only with justification and appropriate safeguards. Read more ...




Rethinking Research Ethics: The Case of Postmarketing Trials

Alex John London, Jonathan Kimmelman, Benjamin Carlisle
Link recommended by Shyam Panthi

From the Nuremberg Code onward, the core mission of human subjects research ethics has been to protect study participants from infringements motivated by a zeal for medical progress. However, with individuals, clinicians, and policymakers increasingly dependent on scientific information for decision-making and with vast social resources invested in developing and utilizing the fruits of research, actors have powerful incentives to coopt research for narrow ends. Contemplated revisions to human subjects research ethics policies in the United States and existing policy in Canada and the United Kingdom fail to capture harms that, although they may not threaten participants, nonetheless undermine the social value of research. This is illustrated by postmarketing (phase IV) research. As a corrective, research ethics should focus on safeguarding the integrity of research as a critical component of an evidence-driven, health information economy. Read more ...




Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research

Link recommended by Stephanie Cox

he Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues today issued its report concerning federally-sponsored research involving human volunteers, concluding that current rules and regulations provide adequate safeguards to mitigate risk. In its report, “Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research," the Commission also recommended 14 changes to current practices to better protect research subjects, and called on the federal government to improve its tracking of research programs supported with taxpayer dollars. Read more ...




Ethical Considerations in International Research

Link recommended by Stephanie Cox

Physicians, either in their role as investigators or as decision-makers involved in the deliberations related to the funding or the review of research, hold an ethical obligation to ensure the protection of research participants. When the research is to be conducted in countries with differing cultural traditions, health care systems, and ethical standards, and in particular in countries with developing economies and with limited health care resources, US physicians should respect the following guidelines: Read more ...




Boghuma Kabisen Titanji: Ethical riddles in HIV research

TEDX
Link recommended by Olga Datskova

FILMED MAY 2012 • POSTED JAN 2013 • TEDxGoodenoughCollege

It’s an all too common story: after participating in an HIV clinical trial, a woman in sub-Saharan Africa is left without the resources to buy a bus ticket to her health clinic, let alone to afford life-saving antiretrovirals. Boghuma Kabisen Titanji asks an important question: how can researchers looking for a cure make sure they’re not taking advantage of those most affected by the pandemic?

Boghuma Kabisen Titanji set out to research HIV drug resistant viruses. In the process, Titanji met a woman who changed the way she thinks about research subjects. Read more ...




Decades Later, Condemnation for a Skid Row Cancer Study

By Gina Kolata
Published: October 17, 2013
Link recommended by Nathan Parker

Dr. Perry Hudson, 96, in South Pasadena, Fla. As part of a study he led in Manhattan, biopsies were taken on the prostates of alcoholic men, and testicles were removed in some cases.

A medical researcher from Columbia University, Dr. Perry Hudson, made the skid row alcoholics in Lower Manhattan an offer: If they agreed to surgical biopsies of their prostates, they would get a clean bed and three square meals for a few days, plus free medical care and treatment if they had prostate cancer. Read more ...




Biomedical Research Involving Prisoners

Link recommended by Samantha Rodriguez

Until the early 1970S, R. J. Reynolds, Dow Chemical, the US Army, major pharmaceutical companies, and other sponsors conducted a wide variety of research on prisoners - a captive, vulnerable, and easily accessible population. During that time, approximately 90% of all pharmaceutical research was conducted on prisoners, who also were subjected to biochemical research ranging from testing diet drinks and simple detergents to studies involving dioxin and chemical warfare agents. Read more ...




Henrietta Lacks’ ‘Immortal’ Cells

by Sarah Zielinski
Link recommended by Maleeya Coleman

Henrietta Lacks' cells were essential in developing the polio vaccine and were used in scientific landmarks such as cloning, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization. (Courtesy of the Lacks family)

Medical researchers use laboratory-grown human cells to learn the intricacies of how cells work and test theories about the causes and treatment of diseases. The cell lines they need are “immortal”—they can grow indefinitely, be frozen for decades, divided into different batches and shared among scientists. Read more ...




HEALTHBEAT: Ethical questions abound as babies pioneer research into benefits of gene mapping

by Lauren Neergaard
Link recommended by Maleeya Coleman

The healthy baby is part of a large research project outside the nation's capital that is decoding the DNA of hundreds of infants. New parents in a few other cities soon can start signing up for smaller studies to explore what's called genome sequencing - fully mapping someone's genes to look for health risks - should become a part of newborn care.

It's full of ethical challenges. Read more ...




Ethical Violations in International Clinical Trials

A set of links recommended by Sharavanan Ganesan

1. Care and consent: the fraught ethics of international clinical trials

2. Government Accuses Team Led by Harvard Professor of Ethics Violations

3. The Guatemala syphilis experiment, human subjects research abuses, and CAM


Flawed Ethics in HPV Vaccine Trials in India
4. Vaccine trial's ethics criticized

5. Committee investigates ethical violations in HPV vaccine trials




The "Monster" Study

A stuttering experiment performed on twenty-two orphan children in Davenport, Iowa in 1939.

Link recommended by Madhumitha Mahadevan

1. A paper by F. Silverman about the 'Monster' study

Link was recommended by Erica Soltero

2. An article in The New York Times about the 'Monster' study





U.S. Government-Sponsored Mind Control and Tulane

Link recommended by Madhumitha Mahadevan

“By the time I left to go home — just like every time from then on — I would recall nothing of my tests or the different doctors. I would only remember whatever explanations Dr. Robert G. Heath (of Tulane Medical School) gave me for the odd bruises, needle marks, burns on my head and fingers and even the genital soreness. I had no reason to believe otherwise. Already they had begun to control my mind!”

Claudia S. Mullen, March 15, 1995
Testimony to the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments

Read more ...




Government tested AIDS drugs on foster kids

by John Solomon
Link recommended by David Fullerton

Dr. Ram Yogev, director of the pediatric HIV/AIDS program at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, examines a former foster child who is now adopted, on April 8 in Chicago.

Government-funded researchers tested AIDS drugs on hundreds of foster children over the past two decades, often without providing them a basic protection afforded in federal law and required by some states, an Associated Press review has found.

The research funded by the National Institutes of Health spanned the country. It was most widespread in the 1990s as foster care agencies sought treatments for their HIV-infected children that weren’t yet available in the marketplace. Read more ...




Protecting Human Research Participants


Click the link to visit the interactive website.




Increasing Levels of Protection For Animal Research Subjects





U.S. Proposes Wildlife Protection for Captive Chimps


Chimp Haven in Keithville, La., serves as the national chimpanzee sanctuary.
By JAMES GORMAN
Published: June 11, 2013

Adding the animals to the list of endangered species would pose a new obstacle to their use in invasive biomedical research. Read more ...




Animal Malpractice: Harvard Shuts Down Primate Center

Link recommended by Malcolm Dcosta

The Harvard primate research center is shutting down after a very troublesome year. Photo credit: nytimes.com

The Harvard primate research center where four monkeys died because of animal care problems will be largely shut down by 2015, Harvard Medical School announced Tuesday afternoon. The university cited a tough economic climate for biomedical research funding and shifting long-term strategic plans.

The announcement stunned outside researchers, because it comes a year and a half after Harvard began investing significant time and resources into the New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, to correct animal care and oversight problems that had resulted in the deaths of four monkeys between June 2010 and Feb. 2012.

The US Department of Agriculture investigated the center and cited Harvard for violations of animal welfare rules, an embarrassing black eye that caused consternation across the university. But medical school leaders said the decision to close the primate center was unrelated to its previous problems. Read more ...




EU bans sale of all animal-tested cosmetics

Link recommended by Malcolm Dcosta

11 March 2013 | The search for alternatives to animal testing goes on

The ban applies to all new cosmetics and their ingredients sold in the EU, regardless of where in the world testing on animals was carried out.

The 27 EU countries have had a ban on such tests in place since 2009. But the EU Commission is now asking the EU's trading partners to do the same.

Animal rights lobbyists said EU officials had "listened to the people".

The anti-vivisection group BUAV and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) said they had spent more than 20 years campaigning on the issue and had enlisted celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Morrissey and Sienna Miller to their cause. They congratulated the EU Commission for putting the ban into effect. Read more ...




New guidelines announced for risky research


21 Feb 2013 | 19:13 GMT | Posted by Brendan Maher

US government officials have passed two more checkpoints on the long, winding road towards a policy for dealing with risky research. That journey was forced into overdrive at the end of 2011, when a government body recommended against publishing two studies showing how a deadly form of avian influenza H5N1 could be made to pass between mammals.

Today, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a final framework for vetting specific types of experiments before funding them. The US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) also published a long-awaited draft policy for how scientists and institutions should monitor and report on a wide range of research that malevolent forces could manipulate to do harm. This type of research, called dual-use research of concern (DURC), is fundable if the potential benefits are deemed significant and the risks deemed manageable. Read more ...




Aligning Regulations and Ethics in Human Research

Rebecca Dresser
Link recommended by Hawley Kunz

Government officials are revising the 1991 Common Rule regulations that govern most human research in the United States. They have already received public comments on a 2011 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) (1). The public will have another chance to comment when officials publish specific proposals. The revision effort's overall goal is to remove unwarranted regulatory impediments to research while strengthening essential human subject protections. I offer three ideas for additions to the oversight system, each tied to one of the 1979 Belmont Report's (2) three ethical principles governing human research.

Although prepared by a U.S. advisory group, the Belmont Report expresses values embodied in historic documents like the Nuremberg Code, international statements like the Helsinki Declaration, and domestic oversight systems in countries around the world. The report emphasizes three ethical concepts (see the table). Although these concepts underlie many Common Rule provisions, insights gained since 1991 and unaddressed problems in the current oversight system point to new measures that could enhance the rule's ethical legitimacy. Read more ...




Families Emerge as Silent Victims Of Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

By Carol Kaesuk Yoon
Published: May 12, 1997
Link recommended by Bismah Motawala

It has been 25 years since the nation learned that more than 400 black men infected with syphilis went untreated for decades in a federally financed experiment in this rural Southern town laced with sandy roads and pine forests.

These men, who are expected to receive a Presidential apology on Friday in Washington, have been the subject of countless academic studies, news articles and books, as well as a play and a made-for-television movie. Read more ...




Restricted use of chimps in government research recommended

An Institute of Medicine committee has released a report recommending stringent limits on the use of chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral lab work performed at the National Institutes of Health. The report comes amid Congressional pressure to make sure such research is completed humanely.

The IOM’s recommendations focus on the scientific need for chimpanzees as research subjects, but they also took ethical issues into consideration. According to the IOM, chimpanzees' genetic closeness to humans and their similar biological and behavioral characteristics not only make these mammals a valuable species for certain types of research but these animals also demand “greater justification for conducting research with them,” the committee said. Read more ...




Studies show 'dark chapter' of medical research

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
October 1, 2010 6:08 p.m. EDT
The Public Health Service took photographs during the Tuskegee syphilis study, but no captions remain. This is one of them.

(CNN) -- The Tuskegee syphilis experiment of the 20th century is often cited as the most famous example of unethical medical research. Now, evidence has emerged that it overlapped with a shorter study, also sponsored by U.S. government health agencies, in which human subjects were unknowingly being harmed by participating in an experiment.

Research from Wellesley College professor Susan Reverby has uncovered evidence of an experiment in Guatemala that infected people with sexually transmitted diseases in an effort to explore treatments. Read more ...




NASA engineer quits over animal experiment

by Hayley Kappes / The Daily News
khou.com
Posted on September 12, 2010 at 1:34 PM
Updated Sunday, Sep 12 at 1:37 PM

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER — April Evans wrestled for weeks whether to quit her dream job working for NASA’s operations with the International Space Station.

She concluded in March there was no other option but to resign after learning the space agency proposed a $1.75 million experiment to irradiate 18 squirrel monkeys to determine astronauts’ ability to withstand high levels of continuous radiation in deep space. Read more ...




Prominent doctors used elderly patients for medical experimentation

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 by: Jerome Douglas

(NaturalNews) Four prominent doctors at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot and the Hartzfeld Geriatric Hospital in Gedera -- both located in Israel -- were arrested this week on suspicion of using elderly patients as the subjects of hundreds of illegal experiments.

The four doctors are suspected of wrongful death through negligence, abuse of helpless victims, aggravated assault, fraud, violation of a statutory obligation and interference in an investigation. Read more ...




Human medical experimentation in the United States: The shocking true history of modern medicine and psychiatry (1965-2005)

Monday, March 06, 2006 by: Dani Veracity

(1966)

The CIA continues a limited number of MKULTRA plans by beginning Project MKSEARCH to develop and test ways of using biological, chemical and radioactive materials in intelligence operations, and also to develop and test drugs that are able to produce predictable changes in human behavior and physiology (Goliszek).

Dr. Henry Beecher writes, "The well-being, the health, even the actual or potential life of all human beings, born or unborn, depend upon the continuing experimentation in man. Proceed it must; proceed it will. 'The proper study of mankind is man,'" in his "exposé" on human medical experimentation Research and the Individual ("Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After"). Read more ...