The Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill 2023 in India aims to enhance research funding in universities and colleges, yet concerns persist regarding its autonomy and operational effectiveness. In this article from our current conversation series, Joel P. Joseph discusses the 'what' and 'how' of the NRF bill.
Artificial Intelligence is revolutionising various aspects of life sciences, from drug discovery and disease diagnosis to education, showing great promise in improving healthcare and enhancing learning. But, caution is needed in its application, considering challenges like lack of generalisation across patient populations and the risk of over-reliance, as human collaboration and thoughtful use remain essential for its successful integration..
Suryesh K Namdeo, DST- Centre for Policy Research (DST-CPR), IISc, Bengaluru, highlights the growing biological risks in the modern era, fuelled by advancements in areas such as synthetic biology, neurotechnology, and artificial intelligence. While these technologies offer promising applications in various fields, they also raise concerns about the potential misuse and accidental release of harmful biological agents.
Traditional vaccine trials rely on large sample populations and natural infection processes. A quicker, cheaper, but riskier method, called Controlled Human Infection Model studies (CHIMs), has also been in practice for some time. In CHIMs, volunteers are deliberately infected with a pathogen to study its effects or to test the efficacy of a vaccine. In this article, Aditi examines the science behind CHIMs and the ethical implications of legalising this method in India, where such trials are presently banned.
The Indian National Science Academy recently published a book with detailed analysis and recommendations on ethical practices for doing science in India. With contributions from eighteen different authors, the book delves into multiple areas of concern and enumerates ethical guidelines for researchers and policymakers at several different levels. The book is freely available to download on INSA's website.