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Nothing Is Sacred

At Nature, Retraction Watch bloggers Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky write that the increase in retractions of scientific papers isn't necessarily a bad thing, and that the trend shows instead that journal editors and researchers need to stop treating papers as if they are "sacred." Instead of focusing on an individual paper, the record of scientific study on a particular subject should include other material like media coverage, blog posts, and how many times a paper has been downloaded, Marcus and Oransky write. It's also important that journal editors and researchers embrace the idea of post-publication peer review. "We see many papers retracted now that may not need to be, but they contain some nuances that editors don't know how to handle," Marcus and Oransky write. "In the new system, a fleshed-out addendum, or correction, could suffice if the paper included some of the post-publication discussion." Such a system could, in fact, lead to a decline in retractions, and a rise in the quality of papers published, they add.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.