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“RNA makes palladium” paper to be retracted?

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File:Palladium (46 Pd).jpg
palladium/Hi-Res Images of Chemical Elements

This row has been going on for twelve years.

From Nature:

The saga began when the paper described a method for using RNA sequences to grow tiny hexagonal crystals of palladium metal. The work hinted that RNA might have a role in producing inorganic materials in the environment. It has been cited more than 135 times.

But Stefan Franzen, another chemist at NCSU, soon raised questions about the work. In a series of publications, he challenged whether the team had really seen RNA-driven action or stable palladium crystals. Franzen filed a formal complaint to NCSU, which kicked off a series of investigations.

In the 2013 report, the NSF inspector-general found that the researchers had omitted experimental details and overstated the results, and recommended a finding of research misconduct. In 2015, the agency declined to make such a finding, but did issue a letter of reprimand and ban the authors from funding. More.

[Bohr Model of Palladium] Palladium

One wonders, if the paper hadn’t been cited so often, might it have just fallen into oblivion? Raised now and then, about a hypothesis re RNA, but never replicated?

See also: GM crops data, cited by Italian lawmakers, manipulated? Investigator: Image sections obliterated, and apparently identical images linked with different experiments


Replication as key science reform

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