Scientist may lose gene-editing patent
the “molecular Swiss army knife”.
However, scientists kept reporting failures in reproducing the experiment in the following months, which stirred doubts over its authenticity.
“The cancellation of the patent may not have a direct relationship with the genuineness of Han’s paper. But since Han and Shen have stopped the patent application process, it clearly indicates that the technique has lost commercial value,” said Wang Haoyi, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Zoology.
In November, Nature Biotechnology published an Editorial Expression of Concern and made a statement saying that it will continue to liaise with Han and other authors to allow them provide additional information to support their paper by the end of January.
Wang said it would not matter whether the journal decided to retract the paper after the deadline expires, because it was the recognition of the scientific community that matters.
“There are some papers that are not withdrawn but have no influence at all, because no one would cite it,” he said.