Volume 92 Issue 8 | p. 31 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 24, 2014

Paper On Herbicide-Eating Bacteria Retracted

Results on atrazine-eating bacteria can’t be replicated, but authors are cleared of misconduct
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: retraction, irreproducibility, scientific publishing

In 2010, Justin P. Gallivan and coworkers at Emory University reported in Nature Chemical Biology that they had engineered a bacterium that could find and degrade the herbicide atrazine (C&EN, May 17, 2010, page 12). They have now retracted the paper because certain results could not be replicated. The problem was discovered when a postdoctoral researcher in Gallivan’s lab couldn’t reproduce key findings in the paper. To judge between the conflicting results, Gallivan hired another postdoc to attempt the experiment again. When that attempt also failed, Gallivan called in Emory’s Office of Research Compliance to conduct an independent investigation. The inquiry found no evidence of research misconduct but agreed that retracting the paper was the appropriate course of action.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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