A group of authors in China has retracted their December 2013 paper in PLoS ONE after realizing that they’d been studying the wrong cells.
The paper, “Up-Regulation of pVHL along with Down-Regulation of HIF-1α by NDRG2 Expression Attenuates Proliferation and Invasion in Renal Cancer Cells,” came from Lei Gao, of the Fourth Military Medical University, in Xi’an, and colleagues. It purported to find that:
Back in December, the University of Kansas issued a public censure of a former water researcher who, the school says, engaged in a pattern of plagiarism and other shoddy publishing practices.
Marios Sophocleous, who’d held the position of senior scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey:
A group of researchers in Tokyo has lost their 2013 article in the Journal of Crystal Growth over commercial interests — which don’t appear to be their own.
The article, “Interactions between planar defects in bulk 3C-SiC,” came from a team consisting of a researcher at Keio University and scientists at two companies, HOYA Corporation, an optics firm, and SICOXS Corporation, which makes semiconductor wafers.
In December, a group of biologists in Thailand published a paper in the Nordic Journal of Botany heralding the discovery of a new species of plant:
Bauhinia saksuwaniae, a new species from northeastern Thailand is described and illustrated. It appears to be an endemic and endangered species. The new species is obviously distinct from all other species of Thai Bauhinia in having large orbicular persistent bracteoles forming a cup-shape and enclosing a young floral bud.
In August 2012, the authors of “Novel Approach to the Lundurine Alkaloids: Synthesis of the Tetracyclic Core,” a paper in Organic Letters, retracted it:
The authors retract this Organic Letters communication on the basis that the RCM of 24 to give 25 (Scheme 6) is not reproducible; thus, the reduction of 25 to give 26 (Scheme 7) is also not reproducible.
The case was covered in some detail by The Heterocyclist blog, and also by Derek Lowe at In The Pipeline, who called it “an odd retraction.” Lowe recently picked up the story with an update: The first author, Suvi Orr, is suing the University of Texas-Austin, where she earned her PhD and did the work, to stop them from taking away her degree.
Last month, researchers published a paper whose conclusions suggested that looking at Arctic sea ice in the autumn offers clues to winter temperatures in Europe.
The letter appeared — briefly, as this post will demonstrate — in Nature Geoscience. The letter, titled “High predictability of the winter Euro–Atlantic climate from cryospheric variability,” was written by Javier Garcia-Serrano and Claude Frankignoul, of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. The journal published the letter on March 23 and retracted it on April 14.
Here’s the abstract, which can still be found online: