The retraction by Human Genetics follows a scientist’s efforts to expose research that is complicit in human rights violations.
A HIGHLY REGARDED scientific journal has retracted a paper based on DNA samples from nearly 38,000 men in China, including Tibetans and Uyghurs who almost certainly did not give proper consent.
This story provides another unfortunate example of apparent human research ethics breaches having research integrity consequences. It is also the latest instalment of consent issues resulting in forced retractions. It is also the latest in a string of retractions for research involving the Uyghur people.
The paper’s authors used DNA samples from across China to assess genetic variation among and within ethnic groups. The journal’s editors retracted the paper because of doubts about the informed consent process. According to a retraction notice published December 11, three authors, including the two lead authors, agreed to withdraw the paper. Human Genetics is published by Springer Nature, which retracted two other papers for similar reasons in August and September.