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  • A new Department of Energy (DOE) database available over the Internet catalogs about 175 current research studies involving human subjects either funded by the agency or conducted at its facilities. In at least 41 of the projects, people are exposed to radiation, most for imaging, diagnostic, or therapeutic purposes. In a statement, the agency reports that "DOE does not support any projects in which the effect of radiation upon humans per se is the object of the study."

    The database fulfills a promise made by DOE Secretary Hazel O'Leary to Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) in January, in connection with hearings into several past DOE human-subject experiments perceived by some to involve unethical levels of risk to inadequately informed participants. Federal regulations, applicable to all agencies, now require informed consent of human research subjects. The new...

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