In the Research Article “The protein LEM promotes CD8+ T cell immunity through effects on mitochondrial respiration,” the authors cropped the original Western blots to generate the appropriate figure panels with the relevant lanes. Panels resulting from cropped Westerns were boxed in as per Science’s instructions to authors and assembled in the final composite figures. In the process of generating the revised version of the paper, we mistakenly used the wrong Western blots to generate the cropped figure panels for Fig. S12B and Fig. 5, E and F. For each experiment in the paper, Western blots were replicated, and on each Western we ran positive and negative controls. The oversight was due to large number of similar-looking Westerns that were used to produce the figure panels. Both figures have been corrected online. No conclusions are affected by these changes.
Science is fixing images in a paper published online in April that discovered an immune-boosting protein, after the authors mistakenly mixed up similar-looking Western blots.
The paper, which received some press coverage, identified a protein that helped the immune system fight off cancers and infections. Philip Ashton-Rickardt, a scientist at Imperial College London who led the study, told the The Telegraph:
This is exciting because we have found a completely different way to use the immune system to fight cancer.
The editor in chief of Science, Marcia McNutt, told us that the journal contacted the authors once it learned of “irregularities” in some of the figures, which did not affect the conclusions of the paper:
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