sábado, 2 de janeiro de 2010

Reacting to the Reactome

A newly developed tool that was presented by a Science publication last October, the reactome, promises to test the functions of a myriad of enzymes and probe the metabolism of all kinds of cells. It has gathered all sort of attention, from enthusiasm, through curiosity to deep concerns and open fire attacks. Many scholars noted that the Science paper describes chemical reactions unlikely to happen and some nonsensical data. Biochemist Laura Kiessling (University of Wisconsin, editor-in-chief of ACS Chemical Biology) pointed out that flaws in chemistry were "just so obvious" in the data presented. Manuel Ferrer of the Spanish National Research Council's Institute of Catalysis in Madrid, one of the authors, said they are totally confident in the results, but admitted serious errors in describing the methods. An investigation will be held in all the laboratories involved, in Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, skepticism has soared among chemists all over the world, and the comments have also fired against Science, accused of bad reviewing job. Monica Bradford, Science's executive editor, acknowledged that none of the paper's primary reviewers was a synthetic organic chemist. Nevertheless, she says there's no evidence of fraud or misconduct and Science will wait the results of investigations. Unfortunately, from previous similar cases we can expect a very long time for this, and even if it is confirmed that the paper is bogus and it is retracted, what's done, is done.

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