Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

That’s a Mori! Seven more retractions brings latest count to 30

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The other day we reported that Naoki Mori had lost his 23rd paper to retraction for image manipulation and duplication. Turns out we were wrong by a pretty wide margin.

The International Journal of Cancer has retracted seven more articles by the disgraced Japanese researcher, all for the same reasons:

The following article has been retracted through agreement between the first author and several coauthors, the journal Editor in-Chief, Peter Lichter, and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. … After an investigation the retraction has been agreed due to inappropriate duplication of images and overlap with other published work.

The papers are as follows:

  1. “Transactivation of the CCL5/RANTES gene by Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 1,” published online in December 2004 (cited 25 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge)
  2. “Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) inhibits constitutive activeNFkappaB, leading to suppression of cell growth of human T-cell leukemia virus type I-infected T-cell lines and primary adult T-cell leukemia cells,” published online in August 2005 (cited 44 times).
  3. “Transactivation of the ICAM-1 gene by CD30 in Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” published online in September 2005 (cited twice).
  4. “Inhibition of heat shock protein-90 modulates multiple functions required for survival of human T-cell leukemia virus type I-infected T-cell lines and adult T-cell leukemia cells,” published online in January 2007 (cited 12 times).
  5. “A modified version of galectin-9 suppresses cell growth and induces apoptosis of human T-cell leukemia virus type I-infected T-cell lines,” published online in February 2007 (cited 16 times).
  6. “Overexpression of Aurora A by loss of CHFR gene expression increases the growth and survival of HTLV-1-infected T cells through enhanced NF-kappaB activity,” published online in January 2009 (cited 5 times).
  7. “Aurora kinase inhibitor AZD1152 negatively affects the growth and survival of HTLV-1-infected T lymphocytes in vitro,” published online in January 2010 (cited twice).

What’s striking about some of these papers is how close their publication dates are. Two were published a month apart in both 2005 and 2007, which means they must have been under review either simultaneously or very nearly so.

We can certainly see how a duplicate image might slip through the cracks in papers submitted and published years apart. But it’s a little harder to understand how it could happen in a matter of a few weeks.

Hat tip: Commenter John Smith

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