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Even Laureates Retract

The California Institute of Technology's Frances Arnold, who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on the directed evolution of enzymes, has retracted a paper that appeared in Science in May.

That paper reportedly showed that directed evolution could be used to generate cytochrome P450 variants that target C-H bonds to form various lactam rings. According to Retraction Watch, the authors decided to retract the paper when they were unable to replicate its results. In their retraction notice, the authors say that their subsequent work indicates that the "enzymes do not catalyze the reactions with the activities and selectivities claimed" and that entries and raw data were missing from the first author's lab book.

Arnold tells Retraction Watch that that first author is no longer in her lab, and that she herself takes responsibility for not paying enough attention when the manuscript was submitted.

"It is painful to admit, but important to do so. I apologize to all. I was a bit busy when this was submitted, and did not do my job well," Arnold adds in a tweet.