Large-scale RNA interference (RNAi)-based analyses, very much as other 'omic' approaches, have inherent rates of false positives and negatives. The variability in the standards of care applied to validate results from these studies, if left unchecked, could eventually begin to undermine the credibility of RNAi as a powerful functional approach. This Commentary is an invitation to an open discussion started among various users of RNAi to set forth accepted standards that would insure the quality and accuracy of information in the large datasets coming out of genome-scale screens.  Please visit methagora to view and post comments on this article

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    & Nat. Rev. Genet. 7, 373–384 (2006).

  2. 2.

    Nat. Methods 3, 677–681 (2006).

  3. 3.

    et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 21, 635–637 (2003).

  4. 4.

    et al. Nat. Methods 3, 199–204 (2006).

  5. 5.

    , & Genes Dev. 17, 438–442 (2003).

  6. 6.

    , , & Nature advance online publication 10 September 2006 (doi: 10.1038/nature05179).

  7. 7.

    et al. Nat. Methods 3, 833–838 (2006).

Download references

Author information


  1. Cenix BioScience GmbH, Tatzberg 47, Dresden, 10307, Germany.

    • Christophe J Echeverri
  2. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

    • Philip A Beachy
    •  & Yong Ma
  3. Morphogenesis Group, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research UCL Branch, Courtauld Building, 91 Riding House Street, London, W1W 7BS, UK.

    • Buzz Baum
  4. Signaling and Functional Genomics, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ/B110), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

    • Michael Boutros
  5. Max Plank Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, 108 Pfotenhauerstrasse, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

    • Frank Buchholz
  6. Division of Cellular Genomics, The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, 10675 John J. Hopkins Drive, San Diego, California 92121, USA.

    • Sumit K Chanda
  7. Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK.

    • Julian Downward
  8. Gene Expression Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.

    • Jan Ellenberg
    • , David E Root
    •  & David M Sabatini
  9. The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1HH, UK.

    • Andrew G Fraser
  10. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.

    • Nir Hacohen
    •  & William C Hahn
  11. Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, 55 Fruit Street, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

    • Nir Hacohen
  12. Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • William C Hahn
  13. Rosetta Inpharmatics, 401 Terry Ave. N, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.

    • Aimee L Jackson
    •  & Peter S Linsley
  14. Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.

    • Amy Kiger
  15. Department of Cell Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.

    • Lawrence Lum
  16. Drosophila RNAi Screening Center and Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • Bernard Mathey-Prévôt
    •  & Norbert Perrimon
  17. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.

    • David M Sabatini
  18. Molecular and Cancer Biology Program, Biomedicum Helsinki, PO Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8), FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.

    • Jussi Taipale
  19. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • Norbert Perrimon
  20. Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Center for Biomedical Genetics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    • René Bernards


  1. Search for Christophe J Echeverri in:

  2. Search for Philip A Beachy in:

  3. Search for Buzz Baum in:

  4. Search for Michael Boutros in:

  5. Search for Frank Buchholz in:

  6. Search for Sumit K Chanda in:

  7. Search for Julian Downward in:

  8. Search for Jan Ellenberg in:

  9. Search for Andrew G Fraser in:

  10. Search for Nir Hacohen in:

  11. Search for William C Hahn in:

  12. Search for Aimee L Jackson in:

  13. Search for Amy Kiger in:

  14. Search for Peter S Linsley in:

  15. Search for Lawrence Lum in:

  16. Search for Yong Ma in:

  17. Search for Bernard Mathey-Prévôt in:

  18. Search for David E Root in:

  19. Search for David M Sabatini in:

  20. Search for Jussi Taipale in:

  21. Search for Norbert Perrimon in:

  22. Search for René Bernards in:

About this article

Publication history



Further reading

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing