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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Author whose lawyers threatened Science Fraud corrects another paper

with 14 comments


Rui Curi

Rui Curi, the Brazilian scientist whose lawyers’ threats helped force the shutdown of Science-Fraud.org, has corrected another paper criticized by the site.

Here’s the correction for “Effects of moderate electrical stimulation on reactive species production by primary rat skeletal muscle cells: Cross-talk between superoxide and nitric oxide production,” in the Journal of Cellular Physiology:

After the publication of this manuscript we observed an error in Figure 2. The representative images for the results of the E + DPI and C + CCCP groups (Fig. 2b and f, respectively) were replaced. The mean values, standard errors of means, legends, discussion and conclusions are the same as in the original article. Please, accept our apologies and refer to the correct corresponding Figure 2b and f that we provide in this erratum.

curi image 2

Figure 2. Effects of electrical stimulation on superoxide production by: (1) skeletal muscle NADPH oxidase complex evaluated by (a) cytochrome c reduction assay and (b) by DHE oxidation assay in the presence and absence of DPI (NADPH oxidase inhibitor); (2) skeletal muscle xanthine oxidase enzyme evaluated by (c) cytochrome c reduction assay and (d) by DHE oxidation assay in the presence and absence of allopurinol (xanthine oxidase inhibitor); (3) skeletal muscle mitochondria evaluated by (e) cytochrome c reduction assay and (f) by DHE oxidation assay in the presence and absence of CCCP, a mitochondrial uncoupler. Muscle cells were incubated for 1 h in the presence or absence of the moderate electrical stimulus. Representative examples are shown above graphs. The values are presented as means ± SEM. *P < 0.05 for comparison between groups. C, control; E, electrical stimulated.

The paper has been cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, by another paper by Curi’s group.

Curi has retracted a paper and corrected another. Both of those papers had also been criticized on Science-Fraud.org.

We’re Curi-ous, you might say, about “we observed an error” (emphasis ours) in the new notice. We’re pretty sure someone other than the authors observed the error. But hey, as long as the scientific record is corrected, right?

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Written by Ivan Oransky

February 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

14 Responses

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  1. Hope to see back again Science-Fraud.org! He did a fantastic and invaluable work, very complementary to Retraction Watch !


    February 26, 2013 at 11:00 am

  2. And he is still there, correcting and correcting.


    February 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

  3. If everyone considers erasing the evidence a good correction!.. Also this looks like an attempt (both from publisher and authors) to avoid a well-deserved retraction. Let us just say I would not recommend taking any of these papers seriously.


    February 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm

  4. Endless…


    February 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

  5. Karma


    February 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm

  6. Only 2b and 2f, what about the rest of the identical images? This is sad.

    Junk Science

    February 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    • None of the problems of those papers were adressed! Shame on you, editors!


      February 27, 2013 at 4:33 am

  7. Perhaps over the tipping point in terms of number of “errors”


    February 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

  8. ‘The representative images for the results of the E + DPI and C + CCCP groups (Fig. 2b and f, respectively) were replaced’

    This sort of thing happens in Garcia-Marquez novels – objects in houses simply disappear, or reappear, or get replaced, and no one can explain why. The journals’ acceptance of such correction statements, in which the authors avoid all responsibility for their submission, make this business of science to which we all try to contribute more like magical realism. Now nothing needs to have a rational explanation.



    February 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    • No, no, it’s great! You’ve explained everything! It’s all due to magical realism, and no explanation is needed, much less possible. You can sue someone for revealing your errors, and then quietly post corrections when required.

  9. I do not get it. How can we allow people to publish the same figures again and again. I was taught and I always practice the concept, one figure, one experiment. If you are so lazy to repeat your control for all your experiment you should say so and publish only one. It may not be cheating, but it is close.


    February 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

  10. Wouldn’t like to be correcting all that myself!


    February 27, 2013 at 6:48 am

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