Letters

Editorial Expression of Concern

Science  12 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6006, pp. 912
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6006.912-b

Researchers involved in genome-wide association studies have expressed technical concerns about a Report by P. Sebastiani et al., “Genetic signatures of exceptional longevity in humans,” published in Science Express on 1 July 2010. In their study (1), Sebastiani et al. used a number of different genotyping platforms and neglected to perform data quality-control steps, which resulted in their reporting several false-positive single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations. In particular, one of the platforms used in their work, the Illumina 610-Quad array, has been shown in unpublished studies by other investigators to produce artifactual genotype data at a subset of SNPs.

Science and the authors are taking these concerns seriously. Since learning of these potential problems, Sebastiani et al. have been performing a thorough quality-control analysis on the original raw data, as well as generating new data to compare the genotype calls from the 610-Quad array and the other platforms within the same individuals. These steps aim to eliminate biases between platforms. Furthermore, they are undertaking an additional validation measure on several SNPs via the TaqMan® assay, a non–microarray-based genotyping method. After ensuring that all data are clean, they will redo the statistical and modeling analyses, which they expect to be completed in December. At that point, Science will reevaluate the paper, determine the extent to which the strength of its original conclusions has been altered by the revised data, and take the appropriate action.

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