Review: The Censor’s Hand (Carl E. Schneider)

Schneider, C. (2015). The censor’s hand: the misregulation of human-subject research. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Medical and social progress depend on research with human subjects. When that research is done in institutions getting federal money, it is regulated (often minutely) by federally required and supervised bureaucracies called “institutional review boards” (IRBs). Do–can–these IRBs do…

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Organ donation consent vs. actual rates

There is a famous paper arguing the case for libertarian paternalism by using organ donation consent rates. Johnson, E. J., & Goldstein, D. (2003). Do defaults save lives?. Science, 302(5649), 1338-1339. The main result is this: So having opt-out drastically increases consent rates compared with opt-in. These countries have various other differences between them, but…

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Admixture mapping assisted GWAS

Medical researchers have noticed that some diseases differ by SIRE (self-identified race/ethnicity) groups which differ by genomic (racial) ancestry. Hence, when genomic measures became available (last 15 years or so), they measured peoples relative proportions of ancestry in mixed populations to see if the diseases would be predictable by ancestry. They were. This establishes with…

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