Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Bioethicists renew calls for additional oversight of translational research

The current controversy over the publishing of H5N1 research is good news for one unlikely group: bioethicists. Controversy in medicine breeds conversation about ethical questions, and the more people are talking, the more likely researchers are to go looking for ethical guidance as they design studies. Some bioethicists think the best way to address such questions is via ethics consultation services that act independently of institutional review boards (IRBs) so that formal regulatory and informal consulting functions are kept separate. 

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