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Policing Yourself

The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel Levinson, says that 90 percent of universities rely on researchers to determine whether the money they receive from drug and device makers is relevant to their government-funded work. The report, which the New York Times says is expected to be made public today, adds that even when conflicts are noted, university administrators do nothing to try to minimize that conflict of interest. "This report clearly raises the question of whether these institutions are capable of managing these conflicts themselves," says Institute for Health Policy at Harvard Medical School's Eric Campbell to the Times.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.