Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Odd: Retractions 18 and 19 for Dipak Das, and a new paper in the same journal, as if nothing were amiss

with 4 comments

Dipak Das, the resveratrol researcher found guilty of more than 100 counts of misconduct by the University of Connecticut, has two more retractions for his resume. But that’s not the most interesting part of this post, so keep reading after the notices.

Both retractions appeared in the October 2012 issue of the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Here’s the first notice:

The following article from Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (volume 11, issue 4, 2007, pages: 788–97), ‘Caveolin and MAP kinase interaction in angiotensin II preconditioning of the myocardium’ by Manika Das, Samarjit Das and Dipak K Das, published online on 24th June 2007 in Wiley Online Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com), has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal Editor-in-Chief, Professor LM Popescu, and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to findings of data fabrication in the western blot data in Figure 2a in an investigation into the work of Dipak K. Das by the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The paper has been cited nine times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the second notice, for a paper that’s been cited 16 times:

The following article from Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (volume 10, issue 4, 2006, pages 896–907), ‘Differential proteomic profiling to study the mechanism of cardiac pharmacological preconditioning by resveratrol’ by Karel Bezstarosti, Samarjit Das, Jos. M. J. Lamers and Dipak K. Das, and published in the October 2006 issue in Wiley Online Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com), has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal Editor-in-Chief, Professor LM Popescu and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to findings of data fabrication in the western blot data in Figure 6 that occurred in the laboratory of Dipak K. Das in an investigation into the work of Dipak K. Das by the University of Connecticut Health Center. Although no questions have been raised concerning the data generated by Karel Bezstarosti and Jos M J Lamers, these authors fully support the retraction.

The notices are quite clear, and no one is surprised by yet more retractions from Das. These are his 18th and 19th, by our count.

What we found quite odd is that the the JCMM has published a new paper by Das and colleagues, in the same issue. “Modulation of microRNA 20b with resveratrol and longevinex is linked with their potent anti-angiogenic action in the ischaemic myocardium and synergestic effects of resveratrol and gamma-tocotrienol” was accepted on October 17, 2011, three months before UConn announced the results of their investigation into Das’s work.

The new paper cites at least three of Das’s now-retracted papers, without any acknowledgement that they’ve been retracted.

We’re also not sure that the conflict of interest statement — “The authors have declared that no competing interests exist” — was properly vetted, given the apparent ongoing relationship between Das and the makers of longevinex.

We’ve asked the editor of the journal whether he had any second thoughts about publishing the paper, and whether it went through another round of peer review after the UConn report came out. We’ll update with anything we learn.

Comments
  • Ressci Integrity November 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

    OK. JCMM is a journal published from Romania as the editor-in-cheif from there. It appears that the journal receives too many submissions. As has happened to the above paper, the back log is long that it would take more than a year for a paper to get its issue and page numbers. This is what happened here. Probably, the article which was accepted in Sept/Oct 2011 has already been with the publisher for more than a year now. This journal is doing very good in terms of articles received and published..

  • omnologos November 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    The right citation in this case should be Mt 6,3.

  • puzzled monkey November 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Yes! Yes! Two more Western Blot retractions!

    A question about the title of the newest published article by Das: “potent anti-angiogenic effect in ischemic myocardium…” Does inhibition of angiogenesis help an ischemic myocardium in any way?? I thought pro-angiogenesis, the development of new and enlarged blood vessels, would be a beneficial effect in ischemia, and is in fact what one sees in such cases, that is, those that don’t expire… At least, that’s what I thought.
    I’ve read studies showing the development of new collateral vessels that bypass blocked arteries in cases of partial ischemia, relieving the ischemia. So what’s the story?

    • Thomas Lumley December 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      There certainly was once a theory that the myocardium adapted to hypoxia and so was more likely to survive an acutely blocked artery: both that the resulting infarct was smaller and that arrhythmia was less likely. I don’t know what the current thinking is on this topic, though.

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