Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘italy retractions’ Category

Paper claiming GMO dangers retracted amid allegations of data manipulation

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FNS2015012717103119A nutrition journal is retracting a paper about potential dangers of eating food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for duplicating a figure, as news stories from Italy are reporting accusations that the last author falsified some of his research.

In the paper, Federico Infascelli, an animal nutrition researcher at the University of Naples, and his colleagues showed modified genes could wind up in the blood and organs of baby goats whose mothers ate GM soybeans. According our Google Translate version of an article by Italian newspaper La Repubblicaan investigation suggests that Infascelli has manipulated images to suggest GMOs are harmful. He could face fines and be suspended from the university.

La Repubblica reports that a committee appointed by the rector of the university, Gaetano Manfredi, found errors in Infascelli’s data that suggested he had manipulated the results to show GMOs were harmful.

One paper by Infascelli has been retracted from Food and Nutrition Science, Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Activity in Kids Born from Goats Fed Genetically Modified Soybean.” The retraction note says the paper was pulled for duplication:

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Cancer Cell paper under investigation following anonymous queries on PubPeer

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cancer cellA Cancer Cell paper that caused a flurry of activity on the website PubPeer is under investigation, after the last author announced on the site that he’d requested a correction from the journal.

The 2012 paper sparked a lively dialogue last month on the post-publication discussion site, as commenters questioned Western blot images in which some bands appeared to be duplicates. The last author responded, noting he had alerted the journal to a “mishap,” and a correction would be forthcoming. However, some commenters remained unsatisfied, and questioned why the correction was taking so long to appear, as well as the explanation for what went wrong.

A spokesman from Cancer Cell confirmed to us the paper is under investigation: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract abstract following misconduct by diabetes biotech

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1Earlier this year, authors retracted a meeting abstract about a diabetes drug, following the revelation that the biotech that funded the trial committed misconduct.

The retraction was initiated by corresponding author Itamar Raz, at Hadassah Medical Center in Israel. The journal didn’t receive a response from any co-authors who were affiliated with the biotech company, Andromeda, so they were not included in the retraction process.

A few months after Hyperion Therapeutics acquired Andromeda’s diabetes drug DiaPep277, Hyperion announced it had evidence that some employees of Andromeda had “engaged in serious misconduct,” such as using un-blinded data and manipulating the analyses. Two relevant studies on the drug, designed to block the immune response that leads to type 1 diabetes, were retracted last year.

Here’s the retraction note for the abstract “Abstracts of the 50th Annual Meeting of the EASD, Vienna 2014. ‘Evaluation of DiaPep277® treatment in type 1 diabetes by integrated analysis,’” published in the May issue of the journal:

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Mystery: A bullet with no entry wound, in a paper with no spell check?

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world emergency surgeryThe Patient, a 60-years old Caucasian male found unconscious in a trailer park of gypsies…”

So begins a strange — and apparently not copyedited — new case report in the World Journal of Emergency Surgery. The paper concerns a patient — perhaps we should call him Rasputin — who showed up with a bullet in his left lung but no entry wound that would explain its presence.

Naturally, the authors draw the obvious conclusions:

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Written by Alison McCook

November 23rd, 2015 at 9:30 am

Mol bio paper pulled by PLOS following investigation into figures

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Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.58.47 AMPLOS Biology has retracted a paper about the molecular details of β-catenin expression following an investigation by the first author’s institution in Italy.

The investigation, by the Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, found that there were multiple “figure anomalies.” According to the note:

An explanation of inadvertent error was given for some of the issues identified, while for two issues, a satisfactory explanation could not be provided.

First author Roberto Gherzi says none of his co-authors helped prepare the figures. The authors maintain that the conclusions are unaffected, but that assurance wasn’t enough for the journal. Here’s more from the lengthy retraction note, which provides some backstory on the “serious concerns” regarding the data:

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Serial plagiarist’s retractions upped to 14

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We’ve done some digging, run the numbers, and present to you a new member of our leaderbcov200hoard: orthopedic researcher Bernardino Saccomanni. Nine newly unearthed retractions of his make for a total of 14.

We first reported on Saccomanni’s work back in 2011, and identified him as a “serial plagiarist.” In the years since, he’s continued to rack up retractions for papers on the likes of ligament reconstruction and shoulder pain. On every paper, he is listed as the sole author.

Bernardino Saccomanni’s most recently listed affiliation on the papers is “Ambulatorio di Ortopedia, via della Conciliazione.” He sometimes also lists his affiliation as Gabriele D’ Annunzio University Chieti, even though, as we learned a few years ago, he hasn’t worked there for many years.

There’s a lot to cover here, so stick with us:

1) First up, “A new test for acromio-clavicolar pathology” was published in the Journal of Clinical Orthopedics and Trauma and cited zero times according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the retraction note:

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Authors defend publishing clinical trial six times, even as they earn two more retractions

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Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 12.14.06 PMIn August, we reported on a clinical trial on hundreds of hypertensive patients that was published six times. Now, copies published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safety and Journal of the American Society of Hypertension (JASH) have been retracted, making for a total of three retractions for the group of papers.

The authors have defended the papers as being decidedly “different,” but one of the latest retraction notes points to an earlier retraction by some of the same authors (including first author Giuseppe Derosa, at the University of Pavia in Italy) for publishing two papers that “contain considerable text that is duplicative.”

Inflammation editor in chief Bruce Cronstein, who retracted one of the six duplicated papers from the clinical trial, told us in August that he and the editors of the other journals were all contacted “en masse” by an author doing a Cochrane Review on hypertension, who noticed that all six papers were “nearly identical.”

Just recently, we received a statement from the authors — sent by corresponding author Derosa — which argued that even if six papers stem from one trial, each was decidedly “different:”

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Where I think Retraction Watch went wrong: A guest post from Paolo Macchiarini

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Paolo Macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

We are pleased to present a guest post by Paolo Macchiarini, a surgeon best known for pioneering the creation of tracheas from cadavers and patients’ own stem cells. Macchiarini has faced some harsh criticisms over the years, including accusations of downplaying the risks of the procedure and not obtaining proper consent. We have covered the investigation, including the recent verdict by Karolinska Institutet that he acted “without due care,” but was not guilty of misconduct. He has taken issue with some aspects of our coverage, and has written a guest post to present his side of the story. We welcome such debate, and have included a short response at the end of his post.

I admire the underlying aims of Retraction Watch.  That might come as a surprise to some readers of the site, given that it has a whole page devoted to me in its archives.  However, I believe passionately that scientific misconduct is a serious crime.  It not only undermines the very purpose of science, but has victims as well, especially in clinical specialisms.  It is vital that misconduct is detected, that fraudulent work is retracted and those retractions made public.  That is why I support Retraction Watch’s aims.  But I am not writing in wholehearted support of the site. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

October 9th, 2015 at 9:30 am

“Exactly the same clinical study” published six times

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4A group of researchers conducted a clinical trial on hundreds of hypertensive patients. Then, they published the results…six times.

The “nearly identical” papers came to our attention via a retraction in Inflammation. Editor in chief Bruce Cronstein explained how he learned of the mass duplication:

The editors were contacted en masse by somebody doing a Cochrane Review on hypertension and who noticed that the content of the 6 papers was nearly identical.  Frankly, not one of us would have noticed otherwise.

Another of those papers, in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has also been retracted. That note is similar to the retraction notice for the Inflammation paper, both of which have been cited twice:

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Investigation triggers retraction for biochem paper

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PLOS BiologyA paper has been retracted from PLOS Biology for duplicating lanes and incorporating others that “came from an unrelated experiment that had already been published.”

According to the retraction notice, first author Laura Cerchia says that the mistakes came “as a consequence of incorrect incorporation of representative blots.” Cerchia — along with her supervisor, study author Vittorio de Franciscis — apologizes for this.” None of the other authors were “involved in the preparation of these figures, and there is no concern about the results that they contributed.”

Cerchia maintains that the paper’s conclusions are still valid, but the remaining authors write that the issues undermines their confidence in the results. According to the notice, the retraction is a result of “an institutional inquiry” at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Rome, where Cerchia and de Franciscis are both based.

The notice tells the rest of the story:

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