Researchers retract last year's discovery of longevity genes

About a year ago, Boston University gerontologist Thomas Perls thought he and his colleagues had found genes associated with longevity--those identified in people who live to be 100 years old and more. It was published in Science and got some attention in the media. Now, the authors are shouting a collective "never mind" as it has come to light that the equipment used to analyze the DNA might have been faulty.

Allegedly at fault is one of the genotyping platforms the scientists used--the Illumina 610-Quad array. After Science published the paper, the scientists found out that the chip had been shown in previous unpublished studies to produce inaccurate results. The authors then resubmitted their data with help from an independent lab. That's fine, says Science, but the new data make this a new report. So, the old one must be retracted.

In a retraction published in Science, the authors wrote, "We feel the main scientific findings remain supported by the available data," but "the specific details of the new analysis change substantially from those originally published online to the point of becoming a new report. Therefore, we retract the original manuscript and will pursue alternative publication of the new findings."

Perls tells CNN that the new paper has been submitted to another journal but he cannot discuss the findings until after the paper is reviewed.

- read the story on CNN
- and in Popular Science
- Reuters filed this report