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Updated: 3 hours 38 min ago

Scientists Create Hair-Thin Implant That Can Drip Medication into Brain by Remote Control

January 24, 2018

(STAT News) – Scientists have created a hair-thin implant that can drip medications deep into the brain by remote control and with pinpoint precision. If the device, tested only in animals so far, pans out, it could mark a new approach to treating brain diseases — potentially reducing side effects by targeting only the hard-to-reach circuits that need care.

Nonviral Gene Therapy Platform Delivers CRISPR/Cas9 to Tumors

January 24, 2018

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) – A platform for gene delivery and tumor therapy has been introduced that harnesses the power of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. At the same time, the platform avoids some of the drawbacks of the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Specifically, the platform can cope with CRISPR/Cas9’s sheer bulk, achieving highly efficient and targeted delivery to tumor cells. At the same time, it provides a multifunctional bonus: the new system incorporates gold nanoparticles that can serve as thermotherapeutic agents.

Scientists Slammed for Synthesizing a Smallpox-Like Virus in the Lab

January 24, 2018

(Gizmodo) – The dreaded smallpox virus was eradicated more than 40 years ago, but the threat of its return still looms. In an effort to develop a safer vaccine substitute, Canadian researchers have resurrected a close relative—the extinct horsepox virus—from scratch. Critics say the exercise was pointless, and because the results were published in an open access journal, they fear the smallpox virus can now be manufactured by virtually anybody—terrorists included.

Study Highlights New Long-Acting Approach for Prevention of Malaria

January 24, 2018

(News-Medical) – A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new ‘long acting’ medicine for the prevention of malaria. Every year, malaria afflicts hundreds of millions of people and kills hundreds of thousands of children. Despite considerable success in reducing the worldwide prevalence of malaria, its incidence in visitors to endemic areas has continued to rise steadily.

Too Good To Be True

January 24, 2018

(Inside Higher Ed) – A professor who knows he might be dying flouts research protocols and teams up with a Hollywood producer to test a highly experimental herpes vaccine on human subjects. The patients — some of whom traveled to a house in the Caribbean for injections — start reporting adverse side effects. The professor largely dismisses the patients’ concerns and later dies, leaving his apparently unwitting institution to answer for him. It sounds like the stuff of fiction, but it’s Southern Illinois University’s reality.

Research Paper at Japan Stem Cell Institute Falsified Nearly All Images in 2017 Paper

January 24, 2018

(Retraction Watch) – An investigation by Kyoto University in Japan has found a researcher guilty of falsifying all but one of the figures in a 2017 stem cell paper. Yesterday, Kyoto University announced that the paper’s first author, Kohei Yamamizu, had fabricated and falsified data in the Stem Cell Reports paper. According to the investigation report, none of the other authors were involved in the data manipulation.

Employment Opportunity – Research Associate at The University of Notre Dame Australia

January 23, 2018

SYDNEY campus

(Level B / Full-Time or Part-Time by Negotiation / Fixed-Term 12 Months)


The University of Notre Dame Australia is a private Catholic university with campuses in Fremantle, Broome and Sydney. The Objects of the University are the provision of university education within a context of Catholic faith and values and the provision of an excellent standard of teaching, scholarship and research, training for the professions and the pastoral care of its students.

Salary: $ 98,229 per annum (pro-rata if part-time)
(Plus 12% Superannuation and 17.5% Leave Loading)

The University of Notre Dame Australia in collaboration with St. Vincent’s Health Australia is seeking to appoint a Research Associate to undertake translational research in spiritual care in healthcare contexts. The appointee will be responsible for supporting empirical, theological and philosophical aspects of current interdisciplinary spiritual care research and planning future research.

The position is located at the Broadway site of the Sydney Campus and reports to the Director of the Institute for Ethics and Society (IES) in collaboration with the Director of Mission at St. Vincent’s Health Australia.

The successful candidate must have experience in empirical research, preferably in a healthcare setting, and familiarity with qualitative research methods would be advantageous.

To be considered for this role, applications should address the selection criteria as listed in the position job pack.

Applications close 4pm Monday, 12 February 2018

The application pack for this position is available at:


Postdoctoral Research Opportunity – Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program in Bioethics at The Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School

January 23, 2018

The Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School invites applications for the Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program in Bioethics, for appointments commencing in summer/fall 2018.

This two-year program aims to prepare scholars with the knowledge and skills necessary to become leaders in the field of bioethics. Research scholars will be fully integrated into the community of scholars at the Center for Bioethics, with access to the resources Harvard Medical School and the University at large.

Scholars will receive an annual stipend, benefits, and an allotment for academic expenses and travel.

The core experience will include:

  • Mentored research. Postdoctoral research scholars will work closely with faculty mentors from across the University to develop and conduct original research in the field of bioethics. A primary aim of the postdoctoral research program is to prepare candidates with the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain competitive research funding, and to develop a successful academic career in bioethics.
  • Educational opportunities. Because postdoctoral research scholars arrive with diverse backgrounds of experience and knowledge, each candidate will work with the faculty to develop a customized educational program to ensure that they develop expertise across the field of bioethics as a whole, as well as in-depth knowledge related to their special areas of interest. Postdoctoral research scholars will have access the Center’s courses and seminars, as well as the potential to audit relevant Harvard University courses.
  • Community life. Postdoctoral scholars will be fully engaged with the activities of the Center and the Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals. They will take responsibility for organizing and conducting conferences and seminars, and will be asked to assist in teaching courses in their areas of interest. They will have opportunities to participate on hospital clinical ethics committees and institutional review boards. In short, the postdoctoral experience provides the greatest possible access to all that Harvard University has to offer.

Application Information: Applications are invited from scholars who have or will have completed a doctoral degree (MDs, JDs, PhDs or equivalent) by June 1, 2018. Doctorates may be in any relevant field, including but not limited to public health, psychology, economics, philosophy, sociology, or anthropology.

The deadline for summer or fall 2018 is March 30, 2018. Applications are considered throughout the year under special circumstances.

For additional information about the program contact the Center for Bioethics at or 617-432-2570.


Fellowship Opportunity – Fellowship Applications Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL)

January 23, 2018

The Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine and Harvard Medical School invites its 2018 round of applications for postdoctoral fellows in pharmaceutical law and health services research. Current fellows have studied FDA regulation, patents, drug access and costs, and competition in the therapeutic marketplace. Other areas of focus include intellectual property, ethics, and comparative effectiveness, as well as the development, approval, and evidence-based use of drugs, devices, vaccines, procedures, and diagnostics.

Applications are invited from researchers with doctoral degrees (J.D., M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., or equivalent) or who will complete such training by July 2018. Fellows will have an appointment at Harvard Medical School, receive close mentorship from faculty members in the Division, and engage in one or more projects intended to start their careers in law and public health research. Fellowship length will vary depending on the candidate (Minimum: 1 year).

The deadline is February 16, 2018. To apply, please send to (1) a CV, (2) a writing sample, and (3) a cover letter describing your past work, ideas for the kind of research you’d like to do in the fellowship, and career goals. The Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics is a close-knit 70-member interdisciplinary research center. Our work focuses on the evaluation, regulation, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of prescription drugs and medical devices, as well as the development and evaluation of policies to improve use of therapeutics.

E-mail Ameet Sarpatwari, J.D., Ph.D. at with any questions.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers; women and members of underrepresented minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Kenyans Accuse Country’s Largest Hospital of Rape, Sexual Harassment of Patients

January 23, 2018

(Associated Press) – Hundreds of Kenyans held a peaceful demonstration at the country’s largest public hospital on Tuesday to demand that management act on allegations of rape and sexual harassment of patients. Human rights activist Wanjeri Nderu estimated that more than 500 people responded to a call on social media to demonstrate and present a petition demanding action by Kenyatta National Hospital.

New York City Sues Drug Companies over Opioid Epidemic

January 23, 2018

(Reuters) – New York City on Tuesday sued eight companies that make or distribute prescription opioids, blaming them for a deadly epidemic afflicting the most populous U.S. city. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the lawsuit seeks $500 million of damages to help fight the epidemic in the city, which kills more people annually than homicides and car accidents combined, including more than 1,100 from opioid-induced overdoses in 2016.

Essure or Surgery? New Study Compares Contraceptive Risks

January 23, 2018

(CNN) – A new study, published in the journal JAMA on Tuesday, compares the risks of both and suggests that hysteroscopic sterilization was significantly associated with a higher risk of gynecological complications — such as failure to work and requiring a subsequent second sterilization — but there were no increased medical risks. The study comes on the heels of lawsuits in the United States and reports to the Food and Drug Administration about serious complications linked to the Essure device.

American Religious Groups Vary Widely in Their Views of Abortion

January 23, 2018

(Pew Research Center) – More than four decades after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, most Americans (57%) are supportive of legal abortion, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. But a substantial minority (40%) says abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and within some U.S. denominations and religious groups, this figure is much higher.

My Grandmother Was Italian. Why Aren’t My Genes Italian?

January 23, 2018

(NPR) – Last fall, we sent away to get our DNA tested by Helix, the company that works with National Geographic. Mom’s results: 31 percent from Italy and Southern Europe. That made sense because of her Italian mother. But my Helix results didn’t even have an “Italy and Southern European” category. How could I have 50 percent of Mom’s DNA and not have any Italian? We do look alike, and she says there is little chance we were switched at birth.

How Well Can You Predict the Outcome of Clinical Trials? Not as Well as You Might Think

January 23, 2018

(STAT News) – If researchers were better at forecasting the results of clinical trials — and, say, could avoid having to run trials that will inevitably fail — more resources could be devoted to trials that might succeed. But, it turns out, researchers might not be great at determining the likelihood of a trial’s success. In unpublished research, McGill bioethicist Jonathan Kimmelman and colleagues asked cancer experts to forecast the probability of more than a dozen clinical trials hitting their primary endpoint. They found that the predictions overall were not very accurate, and, if anything, were too pessimistic.

Chinese Scientists Used CRISPR Gene Editing on 86 Human Patients

January 23, 2018

(Quartz) – China is taking the lead in the global race to perfect gene therapies. Scientists have genetically engineered the cells of at least 86 cancer and HIV patients in the country using Crispr-Cas9 technology since 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall). Although no formal scientific papers have been written about these experiments, doctors told journalists at the WSJ that some patients have improved. There have also been at least 15 deaths, although only about half of them were reportedly related to the gene therapy itself.

When a Tattoo Means Life or Death. Literally

January 22, 2018

(NPR) – The tattoo, and the hospital’s decision about what it required of them, has set off a conversation among doctors and medical ethicists around the country about how to express one’s end-of-life wishes effectively, and how policymakers can make it easier. In the U.S., the standard way to tell doctors you want to be allowed to die is to sign an official form saying you don’t want to be resuscitated. That means, among other things, you don’t want doctors to do CPR or use a ventilator to keep you alive if you stop breathing.

Before ‘Roe v. Wade,’ the Women of ‘Jane’ Provided Abortions for the Women of Chicago

January 22, 2018

(NPR) – “Jane” was an underground network in Chicago that counseled and helped women who wanted to have abortions. The service was launched in 1965 by Heather Booth, then a 19-year-old student at the University of Chicago. Her friend’s sister was pregnant and desperately wanted an abortion. Booth found a doctor who was willing to perform the procedure secretly. More calls started coming in.

Church of England Warns Future of Down’s ‘Under Question’

January 22, 2018

(BBC) – The Church of England has warned the future existence of people with Down’s Syndrome is “under question”. It has called for expectant mothers to be given “comprehensive, unbiased information” ahead of the NHS roll-out of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) in England and Wales this year. The blood test for high-risk women can offer an estimate of Down’s risk. But the Church is concerned it could lead to more abortions on women carrying children with Down’s Syndrome.

The AI That Can Tell When You Die

January 22, 2018

(Daily Mail) – Stanford researchers have developed an AI that can predict when a patient will die with up to 90 percent accuracy. While the idea might sound unnerving, the team behind the work says it could vastly improve end-of-life care for patients and their families. By more accurately pinpointing when a terminal or seriously ill patient may pass, caregivers can prioritize their wishes and ensure important conversations are held before it’s too late.