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Ethics in Publishing

There's been chatter about conflicts of interest lately and adding to it is an editorial from the PLoS Medicine team outlining five ways journals can combat the effects of conflict of interest. One not-so-obvious one is to not only have the authors declare their competing interests, but to have the editors declare them as well. The list also includes looking beyond commercial interests to the promotion of a particular research program or idea, watching out for ghostwriting, asking authors for their original protocols (particularly for clinical trials), and realizing that unexciting papers can nevertheless be important. The editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee, told Science Insider that "it's a good editorial, pulling together issues that have been well aired before but which remain important, and it's excellent that PLoS is championing ethical publishing in this way."

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.