Room temperature superconductors are a holy grail of physics. Anything that can conduct electricity with zero resistance at normal pressure and temperature could revolutionise computing, batteries and medical devices. So it was with some excitement that Nature, the most prestigious journal in science, published a paper earlier this year in which Dr Ranga Dias of the University of Rochester in New York state claimed to have discovered a material consisting of lutetium hydride with added nitrogen that could superconduct electricity at up to 21C at a pressure of 145,000 pounds per square inch, which is easily achieved in a lab and much lower than other candidate materials require. Now Nature has retracted the paper – the second on the subject by Dias to receive the treatment – after eight co-authors wrote in to say the published version didn’t accurately reflect the true provenance of the materials or the measurements or data-processing protocols used. Egg on Dias’s face, but a whole omelette on Nature’s.