Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘italy retractions’ Category

Materials science paper yanked over data pilfering

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materials lettersMaterials Letters has withdrawn an article in press after the editor found out the first author, Yan Li, had taken all the data without permission.

According to the notice, the senior author told the journal that the data came from the lab Li used to work in at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, but the P.I. in Italy didn’t know about the paper.

From the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Cut and paste and a PC crash: figure manipulations sink two papers

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jnc

Two papers by an overlapping group of researchers in Italy have been retracted for manipulated figures.

In late 2013, perennial tipster Clare Francis sent their concerns about several papers, including the two that have been retracted, by authors who frequently publish together. One of the papers, in the Journal of Neurochemistry, is from a team led by Ferdinando Nicoletti; four other papers from the group have been criticized on PubPeer for image manipulation, which he addressed via email with us.

The second retracted paper, from the Journal of Immunology, has shares one author with the first: Patrizia Di Iorio of the University of Chieti, though according to Nicoletti she had no role in preparing the figures.

Here’s the April 2014 notice for “Neuroprotection mediated by glial group-II metabotropic glutamate receptors requires the activation of the MAP kinase and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathways” in the Journal of Neurochemistry. It’s behind a paywall, but the journal has assured us this is against policy and they will be fixing it shortly:
Read the rest of this entry »

Retracted paper on herbicide-ovarian cancer connection republished

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ehpA retracted 2008 paper originally flagged by Clare Francis has been republished in Environmental Health Perspectives with updated figures and new data.

According to the editor’s note appended to the newly published paper, there was no evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the authors. The new paper went through peer review as an entirely new submission, and comes to the same conclusion as the original:  Read the rest of this entry »

Spat between physicists hits Italian courts for the second time

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IgnazioCiufolini

Ignazio Ciufolini

The long-running feud between Italian physicists Ignazio Ciufolini and Lorenzo Iorio (which we’ve covered here and here) turned up a notch in November, when Ciufolini filed a defamation lawsuit against Iorio.

You can read the full lawsuit here (in Italian). The gist is this: Iorio accused Ciufolini of criticizing the work of other physicists on ArXiv.org under two separate pseudonyms (in a letter which the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, which published his claims, later retracted, saying it was a matter better handled locally). Iorio later left critical comments on articles about Ciufolini on the Science blog, Neuroskepticand an Italian newspaper La Repubblica‘s website.

This fight has a long history, despite the two having published articles together in the past. In 2004, Ciufolini’s lawyer sent Iorio a vaguely threatening letter (also in Italian) that had no specifics about what Iorio was doing wrong. Iorio described to us what the letter referred to:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 13th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Retractions follow revelations of misconduct by diabetes biotech

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diabetes careSeveral months after a drug company cancelled development of a potential diabetes cure because it found evidence that a biotech they had recently acquired had committed misconduct in studies of the drug, two retractions of relevant studies have appeared.

The research involves DiaPep277, which, as Josh Levy explained here in September, “would cause the immune system to stop attacking beta cells,” the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. But Hyperion Therapeutics, which had acquired DiaPep277 developer Andromeda Biotech in June, announced in September that it had

uncovered evidence that certain employees of Andromeda Biotech, Ltd., which Hyperion acquired in June 2014, engaged in serious misconduct, including collusion with a third-party biostatistics firm in Israel to improperly receive un-blinded DIA-AID 1 trial data and to use such data in order to manipulate the analyses to obtain a favorable result.

The retractions are both of papers published in Diabetes Care in May 2014. Here’s the notice for “Treatment of Recent-Onset Type 1 Diabetic Patients With DiaPep277: Results of a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Phase 3 Trial:” Read the rest of this entry »

Mix-and-match text topples microbiome paper

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iemA group of gastroenterology researchers in Italy has lost their 2010 paper in Internal and Emergency Medicine, the journal of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine, for plagiarizing and duplicate publication.

The article, “Gut microbiota and related diseases: clinical features,” was published as a supplement by a team from the University of Bologna. Its conclusions: Read the rest of this entry »

Revealed: Complaint lodged against Macchiarini, “super-surgeon” under investigation

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dr-paolo-macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

Retraction Watch has obtained copies of a misconduct complaint filed against surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who is currently under investigation by the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm for allegedly downplaying dangers of an experimental surgery, along with other misconduct accusations. We’re posting them here to allow researchers and clinicians to review and perhaps comment on them.

The complaint was from four surgeons at Karolinska Hospital, and was filed in August, as The New York Times reported last month. You can read the full complaint here. An excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 12th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Paper on controversial stem cell “stamina therapy” retracted

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A Korean stem cell journal has retracted a paper on a controversial Italian treatment that involves harvesting stem cells from bone marrow and injecting them back into the patient.

Stamina therapy” has been pitched as a treatment for everything from Parkinson’s disease to coma, based on a U.S. patent application filed in 2010. The Italian government pledged about $3.9 million in 2013 to support a clinical trial for stamina therapy. More than 100 people signed up for the trials, with a wide range of neurological ailments; half were children.

However, allegations of fraud led to a criminal investigation into the Stamina Foundation’s leader, psychologist David Vannoni, as well as 17 other members of the organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 10th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Italian researcher facing criminal charges notches seventh retraction

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proteomicsAlfredo Fusco, a researcher in Italy under criminal investigation, now has a seventh retraction for manipulated images.

Here’s the notice for “Retraction: Identification of new high mobility group A1 associated proteins,” to which not all of the authors agreed: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 9th, 2014 at 9:30 am

“Super-surgeon” who created artificial tracheas facing new misconduct allegations

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dr-paolo-macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

A one-time media favorite is being accused of serious misconduct in three cases where he inserted artificial windpipes into patients and treated them with stem cells. Two of the patients have died; one survives, but needs her airway cleaned every four hours by hospital staff to keep her alive.

A little over two years ago, thoracic surgeon Paolo Macchiarini soared to the top and then sunk to the bottom within days. First, his work implanting artificial tracheas hit the front page of the New York TimesDays later he was placed on house arrest for accusations of fraud and extortion.

We wrote about him a month later, when a paper of his was retracted for plagiarism.

Here’s Henry Fountain at the NYT writing about the new allegations: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 26th, 2014 at 9:00 am