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Mar 9, 2012

Presidential Panel Expected to Sort Out Ethics of Clinical Sequencing, According to GEN Poll

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a recent GEN poll are optimistic that the U.S. Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will prove either very helpful (34.1%) or somewhat helpful (31.8%) in setting guidelines for the ethical use of whole genome sequencing in the clinical setting. Another 29.5% said the presidential panel would prove to be “not very” help.

    The bioethics commission is grappling with many ethical issues arising from the potential of increased use of whole genome sequencing in clinical care. The panel plans to discuss its recommendations publicly and come to consensus views at its August meeting. The recommendations are to be finalized in a report to President Barack Obama that is expected to be completed this fall.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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