Research Ethics Roundup: Rise of China’s Primate Research Program, “Open Science” and Zika, and More

This week’s Research Ethics Roundup focuses on new developments in primate and lab mice research, the replication problems arising in cancer research, and why the research community is embracing “open science” for researching the Zika virus.

25139329312_77ea43a732_mHow Open Science Can Help Solve Zika and Prepare Us for the Next Pandemic: In this piece for The Washington Post, Vivek Wadhwa reports on why funders, researchers, and NGOs are backing a public commitment to share data on the Zika virus as quickly as possible. The director of the Wellcome Trust said “It’s critical that as results become available they are shared rapidly in a way that is equitable, ethical and transparent. This will ensure that the knowledge gained is turned quickly into health interventions that can have an impact on the epidemic.”

Cancer Research is Broken: In this column for Slate, Daniel Engber argues “we face a replication crisis in the field of biomedicine.” He believes that experimental design problems and poor data analysis are leading to shaky results.

chimpanzeeMonkeying Around: This Nature editorial focuses on the rise of primate research in China. Nature argues China’s primate research program presents new opportunities for Western researchers but that China still needs to follow international ethical guidelines.

Lab Mice Have A Chill, and That May Be Messing Up Study Results: In this STAT article, Ike Swetlitz reports on several new studies that are again drawing attention to why a lab’s temperature matters to the stress-level of a mouse and the results of a study. A scientist at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute told STAT, “It’s still not widely appreciated that the housing temperature that you keep mice at affects the biology and the physiology of the mouse…enough that it can change the [research] outcome.”