Circling back to the 3Rs, if 90% or more of most research studies are already using mice, should we expand the 3Rs and ask the IACUC to interpret the use of mice more judiciously for research?  Reproducibility, repeatability, rigor, relevance and rationalization all start with ‘R’ and in today’s world may potentially be more important factors to consider than replacement, reduction, or refinement.  As an animal resources director, IACUC Chair and research investigator, I fully recognize these questions are ‘hot button topics’ that are both sensitive and often controversial.  This is especially true if the science using mice isn’t peer-reviewed by an external agency and the IACUC is also charged with (in some manner) evaluating the science behind the use of animals.  Smaller institutions, which have fewer resources and scientists conducting large-scale experiments with mice, are probably at an even bigger disadvantage when faced with expanding the 3Rs to determine if the use of animals is justified in an unfunded scientific proposal.  Read more


The new PRIM&R Knowledge Center houses a wide range of resources to keep you inspired and informed for your work in research ethics and oversight! As you familiarize yourself with the Knowledge Center, we want to direct you to some of our top resources. First up in this blog series, our Discussion Guides, which now available individually in the Knowledge Center to help you deepen your understanding of journal articles and other resources by providing a guide for individual review or fostering group discussion. Read more


This edition of Research Ethics Roundup covers controversial IRB sanctions of a politically charged research study, direct-to-consumer genetic companies expanding their research capacities, novel human-on-a-chip technology that could reduce the number of animals used in research, and plagiarism in submissions to at a research integrity conference. Read more


In this week’s Research Ethics Roundup, we explore how shifting conceptions of research—from the growing demand for the sharing of clinical trial data to a renewed emphasis on statistical power in animal research—are challenging current thinking. Read on and share your thoughts on these pieces and other research ethics and oversight news in the comments.
Is the Placebo Effect in Some People’s Genes?:  A recent study published in Trends in Molecular Biology found that an individual’s response to a placebo may be affected by his or her genetics. This article from Reuters provides an [...] Read more