Final Nail Hammered into NgAgo Coffin

The paper describing the gene-editing method is retracted.

By Kerry Grens | August 3, 2017

ISTOCK, FSTOP123Following an editorial expression of concern last year, the authors of a study describing a gene-editing method have retracted their paper from Nature Biotechnology. They say that despite the efforts of numerous independent laboratories, their observations could not be replicated.

The editors of Nature Biotechnology praised the process. “[I]t is the wider research community that tests methods, identifies potential sources of error, validates reagents and optimizes assays,” they wrote in an editorial. “In this case, it took dozens of dedicated individuals to work through the details of the published protocol and produce well-documented and controlled refutation studies.”

The original study claimed to have found a competitor for CRISPR genome editing. NgAgo, an Argonaut protein from archaea, could precisely disrupt specified sequences in the human genome, Chunyu Han of Hebei University of Science and Technology in Shijiazhuang, China, and colleagues reported. But replication attempts failed.

“We are therefore retracting our initial report at this time to maintain the integrity of the scientific record,” Han’s team wrote in the retraction notice. “We nevertheless continue to investigate the reasons for this lack of reproducibility with the aim of providing an optimized protocol.”

See “Scientists Can’t Replicate Gene-Editing Method

As Nature points out, Danish biomedical company Novozymes paid an undisclosed amount of money to partner with Hebei. “Scientific research takes time and we’ll continue to look for any technological advances, NgAgo included, that can have a positive impact on our work,” Dongyi Chen, Novozymes’s press manager, tells Nature.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Two University of Rochester Professors Resign in Protest
  2. Dartmouth Professor Investigated for Sexual Misconduct Retires
  3. Theranos Leaders Indicted For Fraud
    The Nutshell Theranos Leaders Indicted For Fraud

    Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges that allege the company’s promise to revolutionize blood testing swindled investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars and put patients in danger.

  4. Koko the Signing Gorilla Dies at 46