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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

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.