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Ethics Panel Reportedly Recommending Reactome Array Paper Retraction

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Based on reviews by investigators at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany, a CSIC ethics panel is recommending that a European research team retract a reactome assay paper published last year, according to Nature News.

The paper, which appeared in Science last October, was based on work by researchers at CSIC's Institute of Catalysis, the Helmholtz Centre, and elsewhere. The team had reported that it had developed a so-called "reactome assay" for gauging metabolic patterns in cells using an array with nearly 1,700 dye-linked metabolic substrates.

In December, Science Editor-in-Chief Bruce Alberts published an "editorial expression of concern" regarding the reactome paper in response to what the journal called "serious questions … about the methods and data presented" in the paper.

"Based on our original concerns and the authors' response, Science has requested evaluation of the original data and records by officials at the authors' institutions," Alberts wrote.

Based on a subsequent investigation by an ethics committee at the CSIC, which also considered recommendations from a similar Helmholtz Centre panel, the CSIC committee concluded that the reactome paper should not have been submitted for publication because the data available does not support the authors' conclusions, according to Nature News.

Representatives from the CSIC could not be reached for comment on the ethics panel and its decisions prior to publication of this article.