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Centralized COIs

A centralized system for disclosing conflicts of interest should be created, argue Allen Lichter from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Duke University School of Medicine's Ross McKinney in The Journal of the American Medical Association this week. "Such a system can be designed and implemented as one element in a process to help ensure that research can progress in a trusted, transparent fashion, thereby increasing trust among the public and health care professionals in new medical products that are brought to the benefit of patients," they write.

They note that an Institute of Medicine report from 2009 encouraged the development of a standardized disclosure for use across organizations, though they deem such an approach to be "impractical" as agencies have varying disclosure requirements.

Instead, they propose a "single, flexible mechanism [that allows] physicians and researchers to disclose, and institutions and relevant entities to request, specific information."

At Pharmalot, Ed Silverman writes that this suggestion comes just as the US Affordable Care Act's sunshine provision is about to go into effect, which "law requires drugmakers to post payments exceeding $10 to physicians on their web sites, among other things."

He adds that "given the heavy hitters" — Lichter and McKinney consulted with people from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Cleveland Clinic, the National Institutes of Health, Nature Publishing Group, and Partners HealthCare, among others — "that have signed on to the proposal, the likelihood that a unified system for disclosure appears to have increased."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.