Two scientists have developed a tool to make it easier to spot bad cancer research
December 6, 2017
Back in 1998, Australian oncologist Jennifer Byrne was among the first to clone a cancer gene that is associated with breast cancer and the type of leukemia most common in children. Two years ago, when Byrne came across mentions of the gene, called TPD52L2, in five papers from separate authors, something didn’t seem quite right.
In one paper, for example, researchers said they inactivated the gene to observe the results on cancerous cells. Since she knew the gene very well, Byrne, now at the University of Sydney, soon realized the researchers used the wrong sequence. The consequences of such papers could be dire, Byrne told US blog Retraction Watch in January, because cancer studies like these are often the start of expensive research pipelines that hope to find better treatment for patients.