Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Image splicing, duplications, inversions kill paper for well-known longevity researcher and alum of lab

with 5 comments

Gizem Domnez

Gizem Donmez

A well-known scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies longevity has retracted a paper for “numerous examples of unindicated splicing of gel lanes,” as well as other problems.

This is Leonard Guarente‘s second retraction. He shares both with Gizem Donmez, an alum of his lab who now has three retractions. Donmez left her post as a Tufts professor in 2014.

Guarente told us in March — when we reported that he’d published a mega-correction on another paper — that he had planned to address issues with the paper, “SIRT1 Protects against α-Synuclein Aggregation by Activating Molecular Chaperones,” published in the The Journal of Neuroscience. Now, a retraction note has appeared “at the request of the authors.” It explains:

It was brought to our attention that the Donmez et al., 2012 paper has numerous examples of unindicated splicing of gel lanes and of duplications and inversions of gel images. The prevalence of these occurrences is unacceptable and compels us to retract the paper. We offer our most sincere apologies to readers.

The paper has been cited 80 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Guarente told us he had nothing to add. We could not find current contact information for Donmez.

Hat tip: Kerry Grens

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Comments
  • Paul Brookes April 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Analysis on this… http://www.psblab.org/?p=514

    In particular, contrast the retraction statement above with the assertion from the journal’s EiC in 2013 that there was nothing wrong.

    • Lee Rudolph April 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      I have no substantive comments on your analysis, but I salute you for using (inventing?) the term “post-docalypse”. Bravo!

      • Toby April 8, 2016 at 10:46 am

        Talking about inventing a term, what is “alum”?

        • Lee Rudolph April 9, 2016 at 9:59 pm

          “Alum” is a fairly standard American English abbreviation for “alumnus”/”alumna”.

  • Morty April 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Has there been any independent investigation in this case?
    If so, it should have been published.
    I am wondering why research institutes so often are hiding this kind of information?
    For scientific progression and preventive reasons it is better to be open regarding these problems.

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