Sci­en­tist may lose gene-edit­ing patent

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

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.

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