Saturday, January 12, 2013

Public feedback sought on brain research issues

Animal,Porkey Pig, Lobund-Wistar
Animal,Porkey Pig, Lobund-Wistar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I would not allow my kids to be lab rats, but that is my decision as a father. What would yours be?
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Advances in study, powerful tools have led to questions about impact on humans, society

By Neo Chai Chin
Jan 10, 2013

SINGAPORE - Should children be included in research on "smart drugs", or drugs that could improve their cognitive abilities?

Should people lacking mental capacity be allowed to take part in genomic research?

Does neuroscience research require more ethical safeguards than other types of biomedical research?

These are questions that the public is invited to mull over and provide feedback on, with the launch of a public consultation on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Neuroscience Research yesterday by the Bioethics Advisory Committee.

Rapid advances in the study of the brain and the rest of the nervous system, as well as development of more powerful tools to explore and modify the brain, have led to questions about their potential impact on humans as well as society.

The committee felt it was "time for us in Singapore to come up with some positions or guidance to guide researchers who research in this area", in order for the ethics to keep pace with the science, said Associate Professor Chin Jing Jih, chairman of the committee's neuroethics working group.

Research on the brain could be seen as different from that on other organs like the liver or kidney, he added.

The consultation paper, available on www.bioethics-singapore.org, covers five types of neuro-technologies - neuroimaging, brain stimulation, brain-computer interfaces, stem-cell therapy and neuropharmaceuticals - and highlights the ethical, legal and social issues related to such research.

In Singapore, neuroscience research is pursued in universities, pharmaceutical companies, and research and healthcare institutions.

The consultation paper will be distributed to parties like research and religious organisations, and the public may provide feedback by March 31. The committee could issue its guidelines by the end of this year.

The committee has also invited an international expert, Professor Steven Hyman, Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, to speak at a public forum this Saturday at 2pm at the Science Centre.

How to read a man?

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Taken from TODAYOnline.com; source article is below:
Public feedback sought on brain research issues
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