Research Ethics Roundup: The New Debate on Data Sharing, Calls for More Research on Agent Orange, and More

This week’s Research Ethics Roundup explores new developments for researchers who work with animal models, a new Institute of Medicine report on Agent Orange, and how scholars are reacting to the latest data sharing requirements.

VietnamResearchers Call for More Study of Agent Orange Effects on Vets and Their Kids: Mike Hixenbaugh of The Virginian-Pilot and Charles Ornstein of ProPublica highlight the findings of the last report from the Institute of Medicine on veterans and Agent Orange. Specifically, “there’s still much to learn and not enough research underway, especially related to potential health consequences for the children and grandchildren of veterans who were exposed.”

How This ‘Map’ of Chemicals Could Help Reduce Animal Testing: In this piece for The Washington Post, Erin Blakemore reports on “an unprecedented new project to map the world’s chemical landscape” which “could help scientists figure out which compounds are dangerous without spending billions on testing.” A public health toxicologist created a new computer model that identifies if a chemical is similar to a chemical that’s already been tested in an animal model.

mouseWeb Tool Aims to Reduce Flaws in Animal Studies: In this Nature article, Daniel Cressey reports on a new research design tool for scientists who work with animal models. The Experimental Design Assistant “allows scientists to create a visual representation of an experiment by laying out its key elements — hypothesis, experimental method and planned analysis.”

Data Sharing Should Be In Everyone’s Interest: In this Health Affairs Blog, Stuart Buck summarizes the debate around the risks and benefits of data sharing. He argues that there is little evidence of “spurious secondary uses of clinical trial data.”