Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Second cell bio retraction from UPitt investigation of tweaked images

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Journal of Cellular Physiology: Volume 229, Number 10, October 2Two researchers, Tong Wu and Chang Han, have lost a second paper as the result of a University of Pittsburgh investigation into image manipulations.

The first retraction, in Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, went live in February. The researchers, currently based at Tulane University, were originally tapped by pseudonymous tipster Juuichi Jigen, who created a website in 2012 to chronicle the allegations.

The blog lists six papers by the pair with supposedly questionable figures. According to Jigen, this latest retraction, in the Journal of Cellular Physiology, contains a figure (2A) that appears to reuse data from another paper, and another figure (3) where the data appear to be manipulated.

The UPitt investigation agreed with Jigen’s assessment of Figure 3, saying it “showed evidence of image manipulation.” Here’s more from the notice for “Prostaglandin E2 receptor EP1 transactivates EGFR/MET receptor tyrosine kinases and enhances invasiveness in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells,” which has been cited 97 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge:

The above article from the Journal of Cellular Physiology, published online on 5 December 2005 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editors and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The retraction follows an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity at the University of Pittsburgh which concluded that Figure 3 showed evidence of image manipulation.

None of the five other Wu/Han papers fingered by Jigen have been retracted.

We’ve contacted the editor and corresponding author Wu, and will update if we hear back.

Hat tip: Kerry Grens

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