Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

It's the "Open Another Barrel" Approach

At his blog, John Hawks considers an approach that some researchers advocate for finding anonymous research subjects: signing them up at Mechanical Turk, Amazon's virtual marketplace where organizations can pay people to do various tasks. "Some psychologists have found an unexpected source of research subjects in the Mechanical Turk. It's a whole lot cheaper to pay anonymous users for small online tasks than to find subjects and pay them to come into a lab for an afternoon," Hawks writes. Of course, there's the IRB challenge, though he notes that some IRBs treat subjects found this way as exempt. "It seems like a 'new frontier' in terms of rapidly profiling and developing experiments," he adds. Any chance this will spill over from psychology to biomedical research?

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.