The journal Nature has announced that a report claiming that genetically engineered DNA had found its way into wild Mexican corn should not have been published. The announcement, unveiled online last Thursday, came with two critiques of the study and a rebuttal by its authors. Though they are not retracting the original article Nature editor Philip Campbell states that the journal has decided to make the circumstances surrounding it clear and "allow our readers to judge the science for themselves."
The paper in question, by David Quist and Ignacio H. Chapela of the University of California, Berkeley, appeared in the November 29, 2001 issue of the journal. In it, the team reported that native corn from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca contained genetically modified material, despite a country-wide ban on engineered corn since 1998. They further posited that the genes spliced into the plants were unstable and scattered around the genome in unpredictable ways.
It was this second conclusion that provoked the most reproach. "The discovery of transgenes fragmenting and promiscuously scattering throughout genomes would be unprecedented and is not supported by Quist and Chapelas data," contend Matthew Metz of the University of Washington and Johannes Futterer of the Institute of Plant Sciences in Switzerland in the first criticism on the Nature Web site. They suggest that Quist and Chapela incorrectly interpreted results of a technique known as inverse PCR (i-PCR), which allows scientists to examine a stretch of unknown DNA that lies adjacent to an identified section. The technique, Quist and Chapelas detractors say, is prone to artifacts and misinterpretation. "Transgenic corn may be being grown illegally in Mexico," Nick Kaplinsky of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues write in the second critique, "but Quist and Chapelas claim that these transgenes have pervaded the entire native maize genome is unfounded."
Sarah Graham | Scientific American
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences