Renowned scientific journal retracts paper based on DNA of Uyghurs, Tibetans

by Anne Kader
3 minutes read

Image: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay 


Human Genetics, a renowned scientific journal, has retracted a paper based on DNA samples from nearly 38,000 men in China. The disputed samples come from Uyghurs and Tibetans, who almost certainly did not give proper consent, the Intercept reports.


The retraction by the journal comes after a Belgian scientist had pressured the publishers to investigate research that appears to turn a blind eye to human rights violations.


The paper’s authors used DNA samples from multiple locations in China to study genetic variation among and within different ethnic groups. The journal’s editors retracted the paper because of issues of consent. 


The retraction notice published on December 11th states that three authors agreed to withdraw the paper. Human Genetics, published by Springer Nature, retracted two other papers for similar reasons in August and September, the Intercept reports.


The database containing the anonymized DNA profiles, which the retracted Human Genetics paper relied on, does not require registration and can be queried by anyone with access to the internet.

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