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Perspectives in Biology and Medicine

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https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613042/infertility-comics-and-graphic-medicine
#1
Sathyaraj Venkatesan, Chinmay Murali
Cultures around the world are replete with images of women as the epitome of love, kindness, patience, and similar virtues, owing to their ability to give birth. Consequently, those who cannot give birth due to medical conditions are stigmatized and made to feel inadequate and deviant. Although infertility is a gender-neutral health predicament, it is women who encounter severe abjuration. Cultural scripts that glorify childbearing and stigmatize infertility impact the afflicted adversely as they destabilize their identity and aggravate their suffering as a patient...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613041/what-if-anything-sets-limits-to-the-clinical-ethics-consultant-s-expertise
#2
Giles Scofield
The inability to reach agreement on what clinical ethics consultants' expertise consists of has generated a theoretical crisis for this field of practice. After briefly examining some recent articles on this subject, this essay focuses on the recent work of a Swedish political scientist, Maria Hedlund, who has addressed herself specifically to the political issues that claims of ethics expertise pose to democratic deliberations, and to how epistocratic claims of ethics expertise can coexist with democratic beliefs about moral expertise...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613040/is-the-pace-of-biomedical-innovation-slowing
#3
Arturo Casadevall
The pace of biomedical innovation is important because it determines the rate of progress in medicine and allied disciplines. A review of the history of medical advances reveals that the three decades from 1950 to 1980 were a particularly innovative time. Subsequent decades have seen fewer seminal advances, despite continued improvements in many biomedical technologies. Although the biomedical sciences continue to be innovative, the question posed in this essay is whether the rate of innovation has slowed relative to the available knowledge base...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613039/public-funding-for-genomics-and-the-return-on-investment-a-public-health-perspective
#4
Ayaz Hyder
This article traces the emergence of lean principles in genomics research and connects this new way of doing science with many of the current pitfalls of precision medicine in its attempts at improving population health outcomes. Precision medicine has a history of public funding, yet the benefits in clinical settings are very slowly being realized due to a variety of factors, such as uncertainty regarding relevant treatments after identifying disease risk, lack of cost-effectiveness studies for general population-level interventions, and letting a culture of "over promise and under deliver" permeate some areas of genomics research...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613038/spinning-the-genome-why-science-hype-matters
#5
Timothy Caulfield
There is a growing body of literature that describes both the degree to which science is hyped and how and why that hype happens. Hype can be described as an inappropriate exaggeration of the significance or potential value of a particular study or area of science. Evidence tells us that this spin happens throughout the science translation process. There is hype in research grants, peer-reviewed publications, scientific abstracts, institutional press releases, media representations, and, of course, in the associated marketing of a new product...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613037/control-of-cardiovascular-disease-in-the-20th-century-meeting-the-challenge-of-chronic-degenerative-disease
#6
Richard S Cooper
After World War II, industrialized countries found themselves faced with a new epidemic of chronic disease. Stroke had long been a common cause of death, however a much more virulent form of vascular disease involving the coronary arteries was now recognized as a major public health challenge. By the late 1950s, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) accounted for almost two-thirds of deaths in the US. Within 10 years, the key causal factors underlying CVD had been fully defined, and by the mid-1960s, prevention trials, policy changes, and subsequent population-wide risk factor improvement and targeted high-risk medical therapy led to a rapid and sustained decline in both coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613036/human-molecular-genetics-has-not-yet-contributed-to-measurable-public-health-advances
#7
Nigel Paneth, Sten H Vermund
For more than half a century, we have lived in a world dominated by the idea that the gene is the central and primary agent in biology, an era some have called the "Genetic Age." Each decade since the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953 has seen scientific advances in genetics, discoveries that have led to at least 17 Nobel Prizes. Although the time span occupied by the Genetic Age has also been a time of great public health advances, no advance in human molecular genetics can be shown to have had any measurable effect on any public health parameter of importance...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613035/precision-medicine-approaches-and-the-health-of-populations-study-design-concerns-and-considerations
#8
Sandro Galea, Salma M Abdalla
Biomedical advances in the past decade have aimed to capitalize on two movements that have dominated the research conversation: precision medicine and the ascent of big data. These emerging shifts have resulted in growing confidence that we can better characterize health, predict who will get ill and with what, develop new treatments which exploit genetic, metabolic, and other vulnerabilities in cancers and infectious agents, and tailor some of these treatments to match characteristics of the individual patient and their specific disease...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613034/biological-reductionism-versus-redundancy-in-a-degenerate-world
#9
Michael J Joyner, Laszlo G Boros, Gregory Fink
The precision medicine narrative relies on the reductionist assumption that there is a strong linkage between genotype and complex traits (phenotypes). This essay uses examples from humans and other "higher" animals to argue that redundant and degenerate mechanisms operating at the physiological level limit both the general utility of this assumption and the specific utility of the precision medicine narrative.
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613033/genetic-pointillism-versus-physiological-form
#10
Kenneth M Weiss
Genomics has revealed that biological causation is subtler than a pointillist dream of essentially enumerable, additive precision predictability from constitutive DNA sequences. Instead, data have revealed a higher-dimension interactive genomic landscape, that is more fundamentally fluid than precision predictability requires. This raises epistemological and ontological issues that, if properly accepted, may help leverage new ideas.
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613032/reductionism-organicism-and-causality-in-the-biomedical-sciences-a-critique
#11
Ana M Soto, Carlos Sonnenschein
Biology is undergoing a crisis whereby technical innovations designed to overcome the difficulties encountered in explaining complex biological phenomena have not delivered the expected results. To overcome this problem, mainstream biomedical researchers favor adopting new technological wonders without considering that what hinders their research could be due to their philosophical stance, theoretical frame, or looking into the wrong level of biological organization. We address the conceptual problems underlying the scientific crisis by examining the philosophical stances that have illuminated biological thought for the last 200 years and their evolution into the conceptual frames now known as reductionism and organicism...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613031/the-tension-between-big-data-and-theory-in-the-omics-era-of-biomedical-research
#12
Sui Huang
"Big data," a consequence of the "omics" technologies and its analysis by machine learning, have changed the climate of thought in biomedical sciences, shifting the demography of expertise and culminating in a new role: "data scientist." While historically the inquiry on the nature of organisms started with theories (logical reasoning) but no data, we now live in an era of data but no theory. A tacit assumption of modern data analytics is that correlations and clusters in the data constitute knowledge...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613030/editors-introduction-to-the-special-issue
#13
Nigel Paneth, Michael J Joyner
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30613029/announcement-from-i-perspectives-in-biology-and-medicine-i
#14
Martha Montello
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30293981/who-s-winning-the-irb-wars-the-struggle-for-the-soul-of-human-research
#15
Nancy M King
The origins and aspirations of institutional review boards (IRBs), the American oversight system for research with human subjects, are well known, and their failures have been documented and disputed for decades. Contention about IRBs is often ideological and unsatisfying, but their shortcomings are real. A new wave of attention to the promise and problems of this oversight system has coincided with the years-long effort to update the federal "Common Rule." Three very different recent books-Rebecca Dresser's Silent Partners, Robert Klitzman's Ethics Police, and Carl Schneider's The Censor's Hand-draw from a wealth of experiential, empirical, and rhetorical resources to triangulate this long-standing set of concerns and tensions at individual, institutional, and system levels...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30293980/200-years-after-frankenstein
#16
Christopher Nowlin
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is 200 years old and remains relevant to 21st-century scientific experimentation. Molecular biologists today have become especially bold in their attempts to cure diseases while remaining mindful of the real dangers of their research. Scientists presumably share an abiding concern about producing uncontrollable mutations in people, animals, and the wider environment, yet a sense of urgency appears to inform the current scientific willingness to take risks, especially in the realm of embryology and germ-line modification...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30293979/consensus-in-placebo-studies-lessons-from-the-philosophy-of-science
#17
Charlotte Blease
In the relatively nascent field of placebo studies, empirical studies have burgeoned. Yet debate about how to define the terms placebo and "placebo effect" has not abated. A number of prominent scholars (drawn from medical practice, as well as philosophy, psychology, and anthropology) continue to propose and defend different conceptual models for these terms, and the perception that conceptual debate persists is often given as one justification for new definitions. Paradoxically-in spite of this lively debate-this article finds considerable underlying agreement about definitional matters within placebo studies...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30293978/what-are-the-benefits-of-a-new-placebo-language
#18
Andrew Turner
This article examines three common strategies for dealing with the problems generated by the terms placebo and "placebo effect." These strategies are to redefine, to reconceptualize, and to eliminate our placebo language. The promise of these strategies is that a new language for talking about placebo phenomena may deliver clinical, ethical, and methodological advances. However, the nature and impact of these advances is rarely explored in detail. This article surveys some of the promised benefits of new terms such as "meaning response" and "contextual healing...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30293977/the-placebo-phenomenon-a-narrow-focus-on-psychological-models
#19
Nathalie Peiris, Maxie Blasini, Thelma Wright, Luana Colloca
The placebo effect is a complex phenomenon that can be described from neurobiological, psychosocial, and epistemological perspectives. Different leaders in the field have proposed multiple theories and models that attempt to describe both the nature and the mechanisms of action underlying placebo effects. This article focuses on the most relevant psychological models that have been suggested for characterizing the different mechanisms underlying the placebo effect. We outline how the dynamic psychoneurobiological aspects of the placebo phenomenon can be a potential reliable and useful tool in daily clinical practice for illness and symptom management within a wide variety of specialties and health-care practices...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30293976/a-critical-and-cautiously-optimistic-appraisal-of-moerman-s-meaning-response
#20
Marco Annoni, Charlotte Blease
In this article we propose a critical reassessment of Daniel Moerman's "meaning response." First, we reconstruct and criticize Moerman's original proposal of introducing the "meaning response" as a way of clarifying some terminological and conceptual issues in the placebo debate. Next we evaluate the criticisms that Moerman's proposal is epistemically moot since other existing and more empirically grounded models already account for all the phenomena that fall under the concept of the "meaning response...
2018: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
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