A Poorer Purpose: The Influence of Vested Interests

By Ethan Sim Impartiality is a cornerstone of scientific inquiry (Lacey, 1997), and undergirds science’s ability to accurately inform human understanding and policy (Oliver & Boaz, 2019). Scientific impartiality is often juxtaposed against vested interests – secondary goals which diverge from the primary aim of elucidating truth (Babor, Miller & Edwards, 2010). When these interestsContinue reading “A Poorer Purpose: The Influence of Vested Interests”

Should Tech Companies Be Trusted to Read our Brains?

By Anushka Gupta  Humans are always finding ways to use technology to good use, especially in the medical industry. The BRAIN initiative stems from this idea, such that it is a public-private alliance of companies (including NIH, FDA and NSF amongst others) with the purpose of seeking a way to ‘deepen understanding of the innerContinue reading “Should Tech Companies Be Trusted to Read our Brains?”

A Poorer Perspective: The Prominence of Publication Bias

By Ethan Sim Empiricism and objectivity undergird the reliability of scientific research (Nature Medicine, 2001) by inspiring investigative and publicatory rigour (Prager et al., 2018). However, the nexus between significant results and career progression (Joober et al., 2012) creates publication bias: an incentive to prioritise such results for publication, which ultimately undermines scientific progress (NatureContinue reading “A Poorer Perspective: The Prominence of Publication Bias”

Evolutionary warfare; a solution or a threat?

By Jemima Frame Genetics is an ever-growing field in biology, with new techniques and technologies still being discovered. With these new discoveries come new potential uses, one of these being evolutionary warfare. For the past 20 or so years there has been research into how to alter certain species genomes in order to reduce theirContinue reading “Evolutionary warfare; a solution or a threat?”

The Biology underlying Human morality

By William Carter The roots of human morality have long been attested to lie in our likeness to the divine, and discussion on the matter reserved for philosophers. This article will make the case that there are innate human morals arise from our evolutionary process and are enshrined in our genome. Developmental psychology for manyContinue reading “The Biology underlying Human morality”

Gene-Editing Baby: A Blessing or a Curse?

By Helen Luojia Zhang Genome editing technologies enable modifications of DNA sequences in many organisms, leading to changes in the phenotypes. They have been largely applied in areas such as agriculture, medicine, and research. The discovery of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 (CRISPR associated protein 9) genome editing tool is a technical revolution,Continue reading “Gene-Editing Baby: A Blessing or a Curse?”

Tear Gas: The Remedy for Control or The Weapon Aimed at Health and Democracy?

By Yirah Shih In the midst of violence and aggression during WWI, the French attempted an alternative line of defence: the employment of tear gas grenades. This endeavour instigated the development and militarisation of chemical agents (Fitzgerald, 2008). The extensive exploitation of chemical weapons during wars caused immense terror, yet authorities saw its potential inContinue reading “Tear Gas: The Remedy for Control or The Weapon Aimed at Health and Democracy?”

Biobanking: A Challenging Ethical Landscape

By Cristina Piñel Neparidze  Nowadays, when science experts envision and discuss the means by which new horizons in medicine (e.g. personalised and regenerative medicine) may be materialised and sustained, the word “biobank” very often comes into play. Biobanks are infrastructures that allow storage of biological samples for research purposes. They therefore give researchers access toContinue reading “Biobanking: A Challenging Ethical Landscape”

DNA Phenotyping: From Criminal Investigations to Surveillance

By Yirah Shih On a winter’s day in 2011, Candra Alston and her 3-year-old daughter Malaysia Boyki were found murdered in Columbia, South Carolina. Despite the collection of approximately 150 DNA samples and interviewing over 200 individuals, the case remained unsolved (Wolinsky, 2015). Four years following the double homicide, Columbia Police uploaded a computer-generated sketchContinue reading “DNA Phenotyping: From Criminal Investigations to Surveillance”

The Ethics of Organ Provision for Transplants

By Daniella Gimbosh In 1954, the world saw its first successful organ transplant: a patient in need of a kidney transplant had received one from his identical twin brother (Barker and Markmann, 2013). Since then, there have been revolutionary developments in every field relating to biomedicine and the face of organ transplantation has been completelyContinue reading “The Ethics of Organ Provision for Transplants”