Jennifer Byrne, a Sydney-based cancer geneticist, has been named in the international journal Nature as one of the ten people of science who made a difference in 2017.
She won the accolade for developing a tool to help uncover error-ridden genetic research.
Each year the journal releases Nature’s 10, a list of ten people who mattered in science in the past year.
“From quantum communications and genome editing to the threat of a nuclear crisis and the dismantling of environmental protections in the United States, this list covers the highs and lows for science and scientists in 2017,” says Brendan Maher, acting chief news features editor at Nature.
On the list are Chinese physicist Pan Jianwei for a quantum teleport, Astronomer Marica Branchesi for working on gravitational waves, and Khaled Toukan, who helped guide the completion of the Middle East’s first synchrotron, a type of particle accelerator.
In Australia, Byrne, a Professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Sydney, studies the genetics of cancer at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
In her own time, she looks for errors in genetics research papers. Nine papers, seven of them this year, have been withdrawn because of her work.
Earlier this year Bryne and French computer scientist Cyril Labbé created a program called Seek & Blastn to help automatically detect similar dodgy work.
“I used to think that science ran on brains and money,” she told Nature. “Trust is the component that’s easy to forget and take for granted.”
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