Research Ethics Roundup: The rise of big data in health care, support for psychiatric research, and more

As summer swings into full gear, be sure to take a break from the heat to delve into the research ethics news making headlines this month. 
The Era of Big Data and its Implication for Big Pharma: The integration of technology into health care has resulted in an abundance of data about our health. In this piece for the Health Affairs Blog, Marc Berger et al. discuss how “big data” can be used by researchers to predict patient outcomes, as well as the implications for the pharmaceutical industry.
Misjudgments Will Drive Social Trials Underground: Michelle Meyer, on behalf of 27 ethicists, urges readers to reconsider Facebook’s recent mood experiment. She argues that social experiments, such as the one conducted by Facebook, can generate meaningful conclusions about human interaction and warns that these valuable experiments may be discontinued if public reaction remains so negative.

Living With Cancer: The New Medicine: Decades have passed since the last drug for ovarian cancer was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Recently, however, several new drugs progressed to phase III trials. In this piece for The New York Times, Susan Gubar writes about her experience participating in a phase III trial aimed at treating ovarian cancer.

Spark for a Stagnant Search: Ted Stanley’s son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1988. Stanley watched effective treatment transform his son’s life, and, as a result, Stanley has now committed to support psychiatric research through a $650 million donation to the Broad Institute. It is hoped that the donation will help spur basic research into an area that has stagnated in recent years.