ethics

In Greek mythology, the Chimera was a fearsome, fire-breathing monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail. She terrorized the Lycians until felled by Pegasus, the winged horse. The Chimeric beast lives on in people's imaginations, her name becoming synonymous with grotesque monsters combining bodily parts from different beings. It also lives on in science.
If a standard treatment exists for a medical condition, is it unethical to give patients who are enrolled in a clinical trial a placebo? Most would argue yes, but the ethics become unclear when the standard treatment has its own risks.
Here's this week's offerings: Why we emotionally attach to Alexa and Siri ... the Pontiff joins the debate on AI ... India can go to Mars (but bathrooms still seem to be a challenge) ... and how do those restaurant buffets turn a profit?
A controversial article on red meat had an unintended consequence: it unmasked the ties between science and industry. Not the meat industry, but the "anti-meat" health-advocacy industry, which reaches into academia and commercial interests. JAMA takes a stance. Good for them, which is good for us.
Do we act one way at work and another at home? Are ethics part of our personality or more situational? A new study offers some insight, at least based on our cheatin' heart.
Scientific journals discriminate against industry scientists, unless, that is, they happen to work for the environmental or organic industries. Those scientists don't have to follow the same rules governing the disclosure of conflicts of interest that everybody else does.
It was discovered that Ali Watkins, the newspaper's national security reporter, slept with a source who was an aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee. That source has now been arrested as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information. A breakdown in journalistic ethics, to say the least.
Dr. Oz is a fraud who ought to be fired from Columbia University and have his medical license revoked. Instead, he's headed to the White House.
No, I'm not speaking of Jonathan Goldsmith, the guy who just pretended to be The Most Interesting Man in the World. I'm speaking of the real deal, my grandfather, Dimitri Berezow -- a man who survived Stalin and Hitler, cheated death on multiple occasions, and went on to live the American dream. His was an impossibly unique story – one that seems too extraordinary to be true (and yet is) – capped with a cautionary tale about modern healthcare.
Scientists cannot publish the same figure twice. Those are the rules. One group, however, tried to pull a fast one and had the same figure in eight papers. Eight! How did journal editors find out? Easy ... they emailed each other. Now, the papers are getting their due by being retracted. 
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a state-run agency that funds stem cell research, is considering funding research on human embryos using a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9. This could potentially allow for cures to be discovered for devastating inherited diseases.