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Nature Neuroscience on gaps in ethical oversight of research

Although institutional review boards are important ethical gatekeepers of human patient research, there is little data to evaluate their effectiveness. More coordination and a more transparent decision-making process is critical if review boards are to make appropriate and consistent decisions – so says the Editorial in this month’s (February) issue of Nature Neuroscience (13, 141; 2010). From the Editorial: “An ethical overview is meant to be more than just another bureaucratic hurdle in doing research; it is a guarantee that all research is held to certain minimum standards and, particularly for human patient research, it is an assurance that the 

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