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That's a Lot of Ghosts Out There

A study done by Journal of the American Medical Association editors released yesterday, though not peer-reviewed or published, found that a "significant number" of medical journal papers are written by ghostwriters, according to the New York Times. The online survey of the authors from 630 papers found that 7.8 percent of them left people off the paper whose contributions qualified them to be authors. Furthermore, the New England Journal of Medicine had the high rate of ghostwriting at 10.9 percent and the rates at other journals are as follows: 7.9 percent in JAMA, 7.6 percent in The Lancet, 7.6 percent in PLoS Medicine, 4.9 percent in The Annals of Internal Medicine, and 2 percent in Nature Medicine.

NEJM editors told the Times that they were "puzzled" by and "skeptical" of the results.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.