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Updating Helsinki

The World Medical Association has updated the Declaration of Helsinki, which has set global standards for research ethics involving humans for half a century, to boost participant protections while enabling research, Ramin Parsa-Parsi of the German Medical Association says, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Helsinki declaration was drafted in 1964, and is used by investigators, science funders, and ethics boards to assess whether research projects are maintaining ethical standards, Bridget Kuehn writes at JAMA.

The update is supposed to make the recommendations easier to access and to group by subject matter, and it has sections that focus on informed consent, the use of placebos, research practices with vulnerable groups, and on strengthening protections for research subjects.

Finnish Medical Association CEO Heikki Pälve says in a video interview that the most important new recommendation is number 8, which says: “While the primary purpose of medical research is to generate new knowledge, this goal can never take precedence over the rights and interests of individual research subjects.”

The Scan

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.

UK Funds to Stay Ahead of Variants

The UK has announced a further £29.3 million to stay on top of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Guardian reports.

Push for Access

In a letter, researchers in India seek easier access to COVID-19 data, Science reports.