September 28, 2016
Standard-setting bodies have been proactive in filling regulatory gaps by adopting risk management standards for emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. Earlier this year, the British Standards Institution became the first major business standards setting body to set ethical standards for robotics. Read more here.
3 QUESTIONS. 3 HINTS. 3 ANSWERS.
September 27, 2016
1. How are tech and disease coming together to provide insight into an incurable condition?
Answer: Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals, in collaboration with Intel, has plans to develop and market wearable technology to study the progression of Huntington’s — a devastating neuro-degenerative disease. Individuals have a 50% chance of developing Huntington’s, if one parent has the genetically dominant condition. Sensing technology contained within a smartwatch and smartphone will accumulate and transmit data to an Intel-developed cloud-based platform. The idea, in part, is to be able to demonstrate the benefit of certain medicines to insurers which makes developing technologies with such potential attractive to pharma companies. Read more here.
2. After seeing the movie Snowden, what is the simplest thing one can do to protect one’s privacy?
Answer: covering the computer webcam. According to one investigator, the best way to do so, based on ease, style, functionality and purpose is by using something called “washi tape” — a type of decorative tape. Read why it is preferable to a post-it note or duct tape here.
3. What technology may actually undermine intended benefits?
Answer: a two-year University of Pittsburgh study recently revealed that fitness wearables may result in less weight loss. The study followed 500 people, split into two groups: those with activity monitors and those without. Those without a wearable monitor were required to log their activities as opposed to those whose activities were being logged by the device. While the differential between the two groups was only five pounds, it was enough to make scientists wonder why. Perhaps the lack of active logging was a factor in that responsibility and accountability was removed for those wearing a device . Read the story here.
September 21, 2016
LSI Faculty Fellow Andrew Maynard discusses the need for ethical discourse about brain enhancement technologies as they move from mere concepts to reality. Animal studies using neural dust sensors to monitor neural activity are the precursors to human studies involving similar gadgetry. Brain enhancement technologies to treat disease symptoms and modify other brain functions are being closely monitored and their potential effects scrutinized by governments around the world. Responsible innovation in brain science was the topic of choice at a cohosted NAS workshop on September 15 through 16, 2016. Neuroethics, the ethical impact of brain enhancements, also plays an important role in the U.S. BRAIN Initiative, launched in 2013. See also http://blogs.asucollegeoflaw.com/lsi/2016/09/15/3887/
3 QUESTIONS. 3 HINTS. 3 ANSWERS.
September 20, 2016
- How has technology likely changed the requirement to “please rise”?
Answer: particular courtrooms have likely done away with the requirement to rise. Electronic courtroom services have emerged in response to geographical and other issues associated with litigation. One such company, Opus 2 International, recently developed a fully integrated, seamless and efficient, courtroom in Miami, with one following in New York. Now one can presumably show up to court in…pajamas. Read more here.
2. Though we haven’t seen stain-resistant jeans, in what area have we seen a rise in other resistant genes?
Answer: bacteria, through its genetic make-up, resistant to an antibiotic of last resort, Colostin, has been discovered for the fourth time in the U.S. There is worry that the resistance gene could spread to other bacteria leading to an array of infections that do not respond to treatment. The fourth case is presumed to have become ill from something ingested while vacationing in the Caribbean. Read the details here.
3. Hot in the news: should the FDA bring the hammer down on these types of services?
Answer: stem cell therapy is the latest controversy at the FDA. There are a few hundred clinics that are marketing and offering services to help cure several ailments, including some that target a vulnerable class of individuals. The FDA has approved a limited set of stem cell treatments and is trying to reign in the others. Lack of alleged sufficient and reliable support for success claims has led the FDA to look at such practices with more scrutiny, blocking access in some cases. This, despite push-back by industry that FDA approval is not required in certain instances due to the nature of the therapeutic applications. For patients looking for relief, the FDA’s vigilance is uncalled for. Others prefer more oversight, particularly when it affects a segment of vulnerable society. Read the specifics here.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, has gathered thought leaders in Washington, D.C. this week, including LSI Faculty Fellow, Diana Bowman, steering committee member for “Neurotechnology and Society: Strengthening Responsible Innovation in Brain Science.”
READ MORE HERE
Readying the Legal Community for More Neuroscientific Evidence
By former LSI Faculty Fellow, Owen D. Jones
Courtesy of Jessica Prado, J.D. Candidate, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
“Law and Neuroscience is a complex field, filled with potential promise, as well as with pitfalls. It requires that lawyers, judges and other members of the legal community understand the nature of neuroscientific evidence, rethink assumptions, and make hard choices. And given both the scope and pace of developments, it’s especially important to ensure that neuroscientific evidence is properly understood and evaluated, so that it may aid, rather than hinder, the fair and effective administration of justice.” ~ Owen D. Jones