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Article

Ethical Aspects of Brain Organoid Research in News Reports: An Exploratory Descriptive Analysis

by 1,2,3,*, 4 and 2,5
1
Division of Scientific Information and Public Policy, Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research (CiDER), Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
2
Uehiro Research Division for iPS Cell Ethics, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
3
The Institute of Natural Sciences, College of Humanities and Sciences, Nihon University, Tokyo 156-8550, Japan
4
Faculty of Medicine, Fujita Health University, Aichi 470-1192, Japan
5
Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology (ASHBi), Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vytenis Arvydas Skeberdis
Medicina 2021, 57(6), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57060532
Received: 19 May 2021 / Revised: 23 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 27 May 2021
Background and Objectives: Brain organoids are self-assembled, three-dimensional (3D) aggregates generated from pluripotent stem cells. These models are useful for experimental studies on human brain development and function and are therefore increasingly used for research worldwide. As their increasing use raises several ethical questions, we aimed to assess the current state of the press on brain organoid research using a cross-sectional database to understand the extent of discussion of this subject in the public. Materials and Methods: We conducted a descriptive analysis of news reports obtained from the Nexis Uni database, searched in April 2020. After extracting the news reports, the number of published reports in each year and the included terms were analyzed. Results: Up to April 2020, 332 news reports had been published, with over half of them published in the United States and the United Kingdom, with the numbers gradually increasing every year. In total, 113 (34.0%) news reports included ethics-related keywords, and the ratio of studies before and after the study-period midpoint was significantly increased (21.0% (2013–2016) vs. 38.2% (2017–2020); p = 0.0066, Chi-square test with Yates’ continuity correction). Conclusions: Although news reports on the ethical aspects of brain organoid research have been increasing gradually, there was a bias in the region of publication. Additional studies focusing on the ethical aspects of brain organoid research should strive to assess the public perception on the subject in different parts of the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain organoid; news report; database; ethics; moral; consciousness; self-awareness brain organoid; news report; database; ethics; moral; consciousness; self-awareness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ide, K.; Matsuoka, N.; Fujita, M. Ethical Aspects of Brain Organoid Research in News Reports: An Exploratory Descriptive Analysis. Medicina 2021, 57, 532. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57060532

AMA Style

Ide K, Matsuoka N, Fujita M. Ethical Aspects of Brain Organoid Research in News Reports: An Exploratory Descriptive Analysis. Medicina. 2021; 57(6):532. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57060532

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ide, Kazuki; Matsuoka, Norihiro; Fujita, Misao. 2021. "Ethical Aspects of Brain Organoid Research in News Reports: An Exploratory Descriptive Analysis" Medicina 57, no. 6: 532. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57060532

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