Archive by category | Ethics

No restrictions on tissue distribution

The distribution of human cell lines used in research should not be hindered by restrictions from donors, states an Editorial in Nature last week (460, 933; 2009 ; free to access online). The occasion of the Editorial is a Corrigendum relating to a paper published in the journal last year (‘Generation of pluripotent stem cells from adult human testis’ by  … Read more

Journal retracts “groundbreaking” paper

From Nature News (published online, 30 July 2009), by Alison Abbott: A paper reporting the creation of sperm-like cells from human embryonic stem cells has been retracted by the editor of the journal Stem Cells and Development. The work had garnered headlines worldwide after being published three weeks ago (see earlier Nature News story). The journal’s editor-in-chief Graham Parker says he took the radical step on 27 July because two paragraphs in the introduction of the paper, entitled ‘In Vitro Derivation of Human Sperm from Embryonic Stem Cells’, had been plagiarised from a 2007 review published in another journal. He  … Read more

Nature Medicine’s insider’s guide to plagiarism

Nature Medicine is the latest Nature journal to address the question of plagiarism. In its July Editorial (Nat. Med. 15, 707; 2009) the journal opines that scientific plagiarism—a problem as serious as fraud—has not received all the attention it deserves. The Editorial outlines a strategy that, it says, all-too-frequently works:  … Read more

Responsible nanotechnology research

Various codes of conduct have been proposed for nanotechnology —and in the June issue of Nature Nanotechnology (4, 336; 2009), Richard Jones examines what they mean for individual researchers, particularly in the light of the European Commission’s code, aimed at academic research rather than at businesses and other commerce.  Read more

Using the law to stifle scientific debate

A court case between one of Britain’s leading science writers and an organization representing alternative medicine practitioners is causing renewed concern about the potential for libel laws to stifle debate on scientific issues (Nature News, 13 May 2009).  Read more

A really serious conflict

Not all financial interests in drug discovery are detrimental, and many are essential for its success. But focusing on perceived conflicts of interest may cause true scientific corruption to go unnoticed, an opinion expressed in the latest Editorial in Nature Medicine (15, 463 – 464; 2009).  Read more