Nature corrects figures McGill committee found had been “intentionally contrived and falsified”
The second of two corrections by McGill researcher Maya Saleh for what a university committee called “intentionally contrived and falsified” figures has run in Nature.
We reported in January that the McGill committee concluded that
two figures in [a] Nature paper had been “intentionally contrived and falsified.” One of those figures was duplicated in a PNAS paper, which also contained an image that had incorrectly labeled some proteins.
The immunoprecipitation lanes in Fig. 4c of this Letter were incorrectly derived from figure 6 of ref. 1 (which was generated prior to publication of this Letter). Also, some input lanes (“Total Casp12”) were incorrectly derived from figure 6 of ref. 1 and the anti-tubulin control right lanes of Fig. 4b were also inadvertently duplicated from the left lanes. Figure 1 of this Corrigendum shows the corrected Fig. 4b and c, representing new and independent experiments for Fig. 4c. We re-probed the original western blot in Fig. 4b with anti-tubulin. The experiment for Fig. 4c is robust and has been repeated a total of four times (twice each by two workers). The interpretation of the data and conclusions supported by it are unaffected; namely, that caspase-12 forms a complex with and co-immunoprecipitates with caspase-1 when co-expressed by transfection into human (HEK 293T) cells. There was also some association of caspase-12 with caspase-5 (more so than previously described) but very little with caspase-9. Our conclusions remain unaltered and the original legend for Figure 4 also remains correct.
The correction has already drawn some puzzled comments from Retraction Watch readers. The paper has been cited 151 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Although the McGill committee found issues with two other papers, they said they were due to “touchup of blemishes” and “artifacts created during the preparation of the scans for publication.”