Disclosures – we have disclosures – 23&me paper in PLoS Genetics

Well, I must say, this is the first time I have seen something reasonably interesting in the Funding and Competing interests sections of a paper in a while. I saw a tweet about the new Parkinson’s disease paper from 23 & me: PLoS Genetics: Web-Based Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Two Novel Loci and a Substantial Genetic Component for Parkinson’s Disease

And opening up the paper revealed some interesting material before one even gets to the meat of the paper:

Funding: This study was funded by the participants, by 23andMe, and by a grant from Sergey Brin. Company CEO and co-author AW, wife of SB, has provided financial support to 23andMe for its general operational needs. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: CBD, JYT, ED, AKK, EMD, UF, JLM, AW, and NE are or have been employed by 23andMe and own stock options in the company. 23andMe CEO AW has provided general guidance, including guidance related to the company’s research undertakings and direction. PLoS co-founder Michael B. Eisen is a member of the 23andMe Scientific Advisory Board.

Some fascinating stuff there – and I did know some of it even though my brother, as mentioned above, is a member of the 23 and me Scientific Advisory Board. Interesting that they mention funds from Sergey Brin, stock options, and multiple roles of Anne Wojcicki. Kudos to PLoS for pushing for more disclosures – something we desperately need in science. And Kudos to 23 and me for disclosing the details here and publishing in PLoS Genetics.
Oh, and the paper seems pretty interesting too. But since I do have a bit of a conflict of interest there (with my brother and all) I am not sure I am going to write about the paper itself just yet.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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