Scientist Who Won The Nobel Prize In Chemistry In 2018 Had To Retract Her Latest Study

Scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 had to retract her latest study


The American Frances Arnold shared the award with George P. Smith and Gregory Winter for her research on enzymes. However, the research was retracted because the results could not be reproduced and, according to the other authors, there were some gaps in the data from a laboratory notebook.

In 2018, American scientist Frances Arnold won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two of her colleagues, George P. Smith and Gregory Winter, for her research on enzymes. His work, according to the jurors of that edition, “was inspired by the power of evolution and used the same principles (genetic change and selection) to develop proteins that solve the chemical problems of humanity.” (Read: Nobel Prize for learning to “accelerate evolution”)


However, through his Twitter account Arnold announced that he had to retract his most recent study that addressed the enzymatic synthesis of beta-lactamases. The research, which was published in Science in May 2019, had approved all the filters in the journal, however the experiment could not be reproduced.


“For my first tweet of 2020 linked to work, I am totally disappointed to announce that we retracted our study last year on enzymatic synthesis of beta-lactamases- The work could not be reproduced. It hurts to admit it, but it is important to do so. I apologize to everyone I was somewhat busy when this was submitted and I did not do my job well, “said the scientist.

The magazine, through a statement, explained that when an experiment is successful, scientific laboratories manage to replicate their results. This part, the publication adds, is fundamental in the validation of scientific research. In addition, the other authors of the study, Inha Cho and Zhi-Jun Jia, found that one of the laboratory notebooks had missing data.

“Efforts to reproduce the work showed that enzymes do not catalyze reactions with the activities and selectivities that are sustained … A careful examination of the first author’s laboratory notebook later revealed absent contemporary entries and raw data for key experiments. that the authors are retracting the study, “Science added in the document. (You may be interested: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry rewards work on proteins)


In 1979 Frances Arnold graduated as a mechanical and aerospace engineer. But life made her rethink her path in science when she learned that the United States had decided that 20% of its energy would come from renewable sources by the year 2000. “It was clear that a completely new way of making materials and chemicals that we needed in our daily life would be possible thanks to the ability to rewrite the code of life, ”Arnold explained at the time.

He was interested in manipulating enzymes, which are the proteins that govern the elementary chemical reactions of life, but during the investigation he found that the proteins, which are three-dimensional structures formed by thousands of smaller fragments known as amino acids, were too complex to manipulate them. free way. He decided to continue learning to work with the force that shapes life with patience: evolution.

Since that time Arnold defined that he would work with a specific enzyme, subtilisin, which breaks down a milk protein known as casein. He sought to make it more efficient and to achieve it began to cause random changes in the genes that encode it and test which of these changes translated into more efficient versions of subtilisin. He created a version that was 256 times more efficient than the original.

In addition to being awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 and 2018, Arnold won the Millennium Technology Prize in 2016 for his work on “directed evolution.” He is also a member of the board of directors of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. (I could read: Discover method to transform blood type A into O)

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