The rare retractions come after several scientists raised questions about how Chinese researchers obtained the full consent of their Uyghur subjects.
Two respected scientific journals have retracted two articles that relied on the DNA samples of Uyghurs in western China after questions were raised about whether the subjects had provided their full consent.
This isn’t the first time papers from China have been retracted because of problems with consent for the work reported by the papers. The apparent pattern of problems does not reflect well on the conduct of research within China.
Both studies were at the center of a 2019 article by The New York Times that described how Chinese researchers had analyzed DNA samples from hundreds of Uyghurs for a process called DNA phenotyping, which attempts to recreate a person’s features, including face and height, by relying solely on DNA samples.