By Ruth Williams
Editors at PLoS Medicine suggest that merely disclosing conflicts of interest is insufficient and possibly even counterproductive.
“Whether or not journals adopt exclusion policies, Caplan suggests a possible improvement to the disclosure process. “We’ve got the internet. You should put your relationships and what you are doing online and explain what you are up to.”
Disclosure of Pheromones.com as my domain for information dissemination about human pheromones and the purchase of pheromone-enhanced products continues to be a thorn in my side when I expect interest in my published works, such as Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.
Nevertheless, the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones that I detailed have since been indicated in reports of pre-existing genetic variations responsible for adaptive evolution, as compared to random mutations, which apparently are not involved in adaptive evolution. See: Evidence of non-random mutation rates suggests an evolutionary risk management strategy.
Taken together these two publications might be considered “game changers” that force evolutionary theorists and molecular biologists alike to reconsider whatever model they are using for therapeutic drug development, or whatever else they are doing. Clearly, epigenetic effects on the gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ system pathway must at least be considered before scientific progress can best be ensured.
But when the most important of these epigenetic effects appear to come from nutrient chemicals and their metabolism to pheromones instead of from “random mutations,” the fact so many people have intuitively “known that all along” may reflect badly on researchers who have not considered the facts, and who will therefore not respond favorably to disclosure or non-disclosure of commercial interests. With disclosure, or without it, the first rule of and scientific venture is to get the model right!