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Outside Ethics

There are certain situations in which research ethics consultation services may supplement institutional review boards' work, especially when there is no consensus in the field as to how to handle those circumstances, write Molly Havard, Mildred Cho, and David Magnus from Stanford University in Science Translational Medicine this week. "RECS can foster partnerships between scientists and ethicists or serve as a forum for researchers to address ethical and societal issues that go beyond existing regulatory frameworks," they write. For example, they say that RECS may be helpful in considering the ethical ramifications of incidental findings or the return of research results, research of indigenous groups, and DNA banking, among others. "These triggers provide examples of situations that lie at the cutting edge of ethical analysis, that lie outside the scope of existing regulation, and for which more than one reasonable approach exists," Havard et al. say.

HT: Nature Medicine's Spoonful of Medicine blog

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.