Blood retracts stem cell paper from Amy Wagers’ Harvard lab after 14 months of concern
Here’s the notice for the paper, “Osteolineage niche cells initiate hematopoietic stem cell mobilization,” by Shane Mayack and Amy Wagers:
The corresponding author (Amy J. Wagers) and the journal wish to retract the 1 August 2008 paper cited above. Based on information discovered by the corresponding author after publication and reported by her to the journal in August 2010, which is now confirmed by a subsequent institutional investigation, this paper was found to contain duplicated data and other inappropriate manipulations. The corresponding author requests retraction of the paper in its entirety and apologizes to the reviewers, editors, and readers of Blood for any adverse consequences that may have resulted from the paper’s publication. This retraction has not been signed by the first author (Shane R. Mayack), who maintains that the results are valid.
The article has been cited 38 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Interesting to note that when we first reported on the expression of concern back in October 2010, the number of citations was 24. In other words, the number of citations has risen by nearly 50 percent since then.
That Mayack refused to sign on to the retraction notice follows form; she did not agree to the Nature retraction. According to Mayack, the issues involving her work in the lab involved what boil down to organizational problems or, perhaps more accurately, disorganizational problems. She called them “mistakes made in data retrieval that were a cause of a poor, but not a unique, data management and archiving system” — but not fraud.
As the latest retraction notes, Harvard has been conducting an internal investigation of the matter — for years, it seems. We attempted to pry a few facts from the university back in October, on the anniversary of the Nature retraction, but our entreaty went unanswered.
We have attempted to reach Mayack and Blood and will update this post if we learn anything more.