Menu

Search

  |   Science

Menu

  |   Science

Search

Reputed Journal Retracts Flawed CRISPR Paper A Little Too Late

DNA Strand.Stuart Caie/Flickr

Science is a process that is often riddled with issues that affect the results of the work being done. This is why multiple experiments need to be conducted first before making conclusions and why papers need to be peer-reviewed before being published in a journal. One reputed journal actually had to retract one of the papers it published regarding CRISPR, which may have caused irreversible damage to the field.

In 2017, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) published a peer-reviewed paper in Nature Methods indicating that CRISPR was causing unintended mutations. Naturally, the media latched on to this idea of the potential creation of abominations. There’s also the fact that the paper essentially made treatments using the gene-editing tool questionable.

Now, the journal has had to issue a retraction, claiming that there were some issues with the findings that made the conclusion invalid for now. The paper also expressed regret at the gross oversight, but the damage has already been done.

“The original paper was peer reviewed, but we should have sought at least one additional referee with expertise in the genetics of inbred mouse strains. We regret this omission. While ensuring appropriate referee expertise is a task we have always taken seriously, and is a central part of the editorial process, we have now put in place further processes to reduce the likelihood that such an error will happen again,” the journal wrote.

As with many unfortunate cases in science, public perception is a delicate matter that needs to be considered before any moves are made. Taking the anti-vaccination movement, for example, the study that the members often cite to support their case has since been debunked many times, but the trend still persisted to the point where measles actually made a comeback.

In the case of CRISPR, the fear was always the matter of unintended consequences caused by tampering with genetics. As Futurism notes, when the 2017 study was published, these fears were confirmed in the minds of people. It didn’t help that it was covered extensively, at least, by scientific discovery standards.

Even with this retraction, it might be too late to change the public’s mind. Scientists had one chance to prove the value of CRISPR without a shadow of a doubt and that chance has likely passed.

  • ET PRO
  • Market Data

Market-moving news and views, 24 hours a day >

August 17 14:30 UTC Released

USECRI Weekly Annualized

Actual

0.3 %

Forecast

Previous

0.6 %

August 17 14:30 UTC Released

USECRI Weekly Index

Actual

147.4 %

Forecast

Previous

147.8 %

January 31 00:00 UTC 286851286851m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 286851286851m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 22 19:00 UTC 298671298671m

ARTrade Balance

Actual

Forecast

Previous

-1541 %

January 31 00:00 UTC 286851286851m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 22 19:00 UTC 298671298671m

ARTrade Balance

Actual

Forecast

Previous

-1541 %

January 31 00:00 UTC 286851286851m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 286851286851m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 286851286851m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

Actual

Forecast

2016 bln ARS

Previous

Bln AR bln ARS

Close

Welcome to EconoTimes

Sign up for daily updates for the most important
stories unfolding in the global economy.