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Genetics paper retracted: “Some other mechanism” is responsible for genetic mutations

Adult Cowpea weevil

Cow pea weevil was subject of retracted paper

In “Genetics Paper Retracted: Due to statistical errors, a Science paper claiming that mutation is responsible for genetic variation is retracted” (The Scientist September 2, 2011), Jessica P. Johnson reports,

A May 2010 Science paper showing that the most genetically fit cow-pea weevils have fewer deleterious genetic mutations in their genomes than their less fit counterparts was retracted yesterday (September 1) by the authors because of flaws in their statistical analysis.

The results apparently supported the hypothesis that individuals with the fewest bad mutations will produce the most fit offspring.

The revised data analysis, which shows little effect on fitness due to mutation, suggests that some other mechanism may instead be responsible for maintaining genetic variation in weevil populations.

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