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Comment from the PLoS ONE Editorial Staff

Posted by PLOS_ONE_Group on 02 Feb 2011 at 15:12 GMT

Following the publication of this article, it has been brought to our attention that several authors and the Academic Editor, Dr Gagnier, were affiliated at the same institution, the University of Toronto, when the peer review process took place.

In line with the PLoS ONE competing interests policy (, we consider this as a potential conflict of interest. Dr Gagnier was invited by PLoS ONE to act as Academic Editor for this manuscript, and we acknowledge that the journal should not have approached him to handle this manuscript. We have therefore asked an independent Academic Editor Xiang Yang Zhang to carefully evaluate the peer review process of this article. Dr Zhang has confirmed that he is satisfied that the peer review process and the decision for publication are adequate.

We are therefore content that the review process was handled correctly by Dr Gagnier.

No competing interests declared.