Life as an Extreme Sport

End of Year Reflections – Or, Why You Can Blame Carl

In my religious tradition, the end of the year is a time for reflection and contemplation; what happened over the course of the year, how will it influence your upcoming year, what lessons did you learn, how will those be implemented, and so on. It’s generally a relatively quiet thing – and yes, should be done according to the lunar calendar, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m going cultural on this one. And so, it was with reflection at the end of the year – admittedly done in an earlier time zone, since I actually spent NYE in Brooklyn with friends – that I tweeted a simple but very heartfelt sentiment: You know, Twitter basically changed my life, several times over, this last year. Almost all of the opportunities I’ve had this year, I can trace directly to being on Twitter. Now, of course, there’s the Seneca

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Stop Yelling If You Want Me to Listen

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the World Stem Cell Summit, and as is habit when I attend conferences, I tweeted my reactions to various panels I attended. Alexey Bersenev asked if I would elaborate on my rather frustrated tweeting from the panel on “The Role of States in Regulating Stem Cell Therapies,” and I agreed (although I didn’t specify the timeline of when that would happen, obviously). This panel was a regulatory session, as were most of the panels that I sat in on. It was moderated by Kirstin Matthews, from Rice University, and the panelists were Keri Kimler of the Texas Heart Institute; Mitchell S. Fuerst, a lawyer who has represented Regenerative Sciences (Regenexx/Dr. Chris Centeno et al.) in their lawsuit with the FDA; and Leigh Turner, a bioethicist from the University of Minnesota.After needling some people about conflicts of interest earlier this year, I suppose

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Patients, Academics, and the Conflict of “Risk of Harm”

On a recent Thursday, I had one of those odd convergence moments where my work life converged with my academic life: I attended a webinar on Protecting Patients from Harm: Ethical, Legal & Policy Responses to Domestic and International Marketing of Clinically Unproven Stem Cell Interventions. As usual with these sorts of talks, the really interesting stuff comes up in the audience question-and-answer period.[note]The audio is worth listening to just for a really good example of why it’s important that your webinar moderators understand what each speaker does, so that they properly aim the questions. Asking the stem cell researcher about ethics and the ethicist about lab assays was just weird and reflected badly on the webinar itself.[/note] One of the questions that was asked and not really answered to my satisfaction was the question of harm. In particular, the question is what’s the harm in allowing someone who is

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