By: Neil Risch , Alberto Piazza and L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza


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In a highly unusual move, a published scientific paper on the genetic relatedness of Jews and Palestinian was withdrawn last November following complaints that it contained inappropriate political comment about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But in a letter to Nature, a group of genetics researchers argue that the paper should have been refused for publication on the simple grounds that it lacked scientific merit.

They say that the study reconstructed genealogies on the basis of results from a single marker, which is an unreliable and unacceptable practice in population genetics.

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Reference: Nature 415, 115 (2002)