Cry me a retraction: Scientists pull Cry protein paper for irreproducibility

world journal of microbialA paper on the biological insecticide Cry protein — most famously produced by genetically modified “Bt” corn — has been retracted because the authors couldn’t reproduce the findings.

The initial paper concluded that their modified gene produced a Cry protein that was significantly more toxic than the one currently spliced into food crops to make them resistant to moths, beetles, and other insects. However, when repeating the experiments, the modified proteins weren’t any more deadly than the original version.

Here is the notice:

The authors have decided to retract their article entitled “Preliminary comparing the toxicities of the hybrid cry1Acs fused with different heterogenous genes provided guidance for the fusion expression of Cry proteins” in World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2012 Jan; 28(1):397–400).

Upon executing further experiments, it has been found that neither of the two fused hybrid Cry1Ac proteins had a statistically significant increase in the toxicity in comparison with Cry1Ac protein. The difference between the toxicities of the two hybrid Cry1Ac proteins was also statistically insignificant.

We’ve reached out to the authors, and will update if we learn anything new.

Hat tip Rolf Degen.

One thought on “Cry me a retraction: Scientists pull Cry protein paper for irreproducibility”

  1. It’s ridiculous. One has to pay money to access the retracted paper ($39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95):
    Is this policy in conformation with COPE policies? Springer is a COPE member, so this apparent discrepancy needs to be verified. Worse yet, on that web-page, the retraction is listed as an “erratum”. Is this an euphemism? Finally, the title makes no sense anyway, at least not grammatically.

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