Researchers have retracted an article after learning that the herpes virus gene sequences from GenBank that they analyzed were incorrect, Retraction Watch reports.
In the now-retracted article in Virus Evolution, researchers from Scientific Institute IRCCS had used sequence data from NCBI to reconstruct the population history of the human betaherpesviruses 6A and 6B. But as Retraction Watch reports, the researchers found that the sequences they'd used were updated after their analysis was completed, changes that affected their conclusions about how the viruses were related. In the retraction notice, the journal says the paper is being retracted due to "honest experimental error."
At Retraction Watch, Oliver Pybus, the editor of Virus Evolution, applauds the researchers for moving quickly after spotting the error.
"My take is that the benefits of genomic data sharing vastly outweigh the occasional costs, such as this," he adds. "Everyone acted in good faith and the system self corrected quickly."