From the LaunchPad

Welcome to The Launchpad, SoundRocket’s blog, where we share our insights and musings on the science of doing science (well), #soundscience.

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Revisiting the Role of the Science Journalist

Revisiting the Role of the Science Journalist

In today’s ecosystem of online science publications, it can be hard to tell what qualifies as journalism and what doesn’t. Does it matter?

For Erin Zimmerman, a plant molecular biologist turned freelance science writer living in Ontario, Canada, a recent plant science conference presented a rare opportunity to meet scientists working in the field and to gin up some story ideas.

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Surveying College Students with SMS: Is it Feasible?

Surveying College Students with SMS: Is it Feasible?

Text messages (also known as Short Message Service, or SMS) have become the go-to medium when contacting others. This is especially the case for today’s college students, who seem to conduct their social and even business lives completely via messaging service.

SoundRocket examined the data surrounding the efficacy of using SMS when surveying college students, resulting in presentation at a past American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference.

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Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 5 – Final Thoughts

Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 5 – Final Thoughts

Over the course of this week, we have covered a variety of related topics that arose from the recent FDA activity around direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing.  Because this is so new, much is yet unknown, so the best we can do today is speculate. However, we thought we would wrap up today with a few parting ideas to consider…

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Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 4 – The Physician/Genetic Counselor Perspective

Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 4 – The Physician/Genetic Counselor Perspective

The National Society of Genetic Counselor’s position statement on DTC testing from 2015 states that consumers have the right to make an informed decision on DTC genetic testing. As with other DTC tests based on SNP array technology, it is important that companies offering these tests are very clear when discussing their limitations. For instance, the 23andMe Personal Genome Service…

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Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 3 – The November 1 Warning Shots

Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 3 – The November 1 Warning Shots

One day following the Personal Genome Service Pharmacogenetic Reports (PGSPR) approval release, on Thursday, November 1, 2018, Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D. (the Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health), together with Janet Woodcock, M.D., (the Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research) published a statement to warn “consumers about genetic tests that claim to predict patient’s responses to specific medications.”  This statement specifically calls out tests…

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Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 2 – What are user comprehension studies? And are pharmacogenetic test report requirements different than previous FDA regulations?

Decoding FDA DTC Policy: Part 2 – What are user comprehension studies? And are pharmacogenetic test report requirements different than previous FDA regulations?

What Are User Comprehension Studies and Why are they Required by the FDA?

Unlike tests that are overseen by health care professionals where a conversation may take place about the meaning of results, direct-to-consumer tests bypass the traditional patient-doctor relationship and deliver results directly to patients (or consumers).  A well-known example of a direct-to-consumer test is a pregnancy test that one may purchase at any pharmacy or similar retail store…

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