Today's New York Times features a front-page story on IRBs by reporter Patricia Cohen: "As Ethics Panels Expand Grip, No Field Is Off Limits."
Included in the story is some potentially very important news:
Bernard A. Schwetz, director of the federal Office for Human Research Protections, which administers the regulations, acknowledges that the guidelines covering the boards’ actions have not been clear enough and says he intends to make public new proposed guidelines before the end of the year.
Unless I am mistaken, these will be the first new guidelines since the broadening of categories for expedited review in 1998. Researchers should not miss this once-in-a-decade opportunity for action.