Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘japan retractions’ Category

Researchers suspended in Japan for funding violations

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Sanae Ariga

Sanae Ariga

Hokkaido University has suspended two of its professors after an investigation found “improper receipt of research funding.”

One member of the team was awarded more than 15 million yen (roughly $120,000 USD) in research grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), according to the official statement (translated by One Hour Translation).

The researchers share a last name. Hiroyoshi Ariga, a professor of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Science and the head of a university lab, was given 8 million yen in 2006 and 7.5 million in 2007. It appears that Sanae Ariga also received funds for a similar study, based on the translation:

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Ethics dispute forces retraction of paper on Hep C in Japanese leper colony

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jcmcoverHere’s a case of retraction being a hammer when a scalpel might have been better.

The authors of a 2011 paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology looking at transmission of hepatitis C in a former leper colony in Japan have retracted the article because an ethics panel in that country objected to the scientists’ use of fetal tissue.

The article involves a controversial aspect of modern Japanese history — the country’s efforts to eradicate leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, by isolating patients in a string of state-run sanatoriums. The policy was eventually realized to be unnecessary and ruled unconstitutional in 2001, triggering a wave of apologies to patients and their families.

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“Copyright issues that cannot be resolved” and duplicate publication sink two groundwater papers

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EnvEarthSci_ak18Springer has retracted two articles about groundwater in Algeria from its journal Environmental Earth Sciences – one was sent down the well by “copyright issues that cannot be resolved,” and the other by a duplicate publication two years prior.

The first article of the two, “Principal component, chemical, bacteriological, and isotopic analyses of Oued-Souf groundwaters,” was published in 2009 by researchers in Japan and Algeria. Its corresponding author, Hakim Saibi, is listed as an associate professor in the faculty of engineering at Kyushu University in Japan. We can’t say anything about the article’s content beyond what’s in the title, since its abstract is no longer available online. The retraction notice consists of a single, lonely sentence: Read the rest of this entry »

“A decision of misconduct was reached”: Two lung papers expire

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JofAnesthTwo papers about the molecular underpinnings of lung damage are being retracted following an investigation at Oita University in Japan, which revealed that images from both papers had been used to depict “different experimental conditions” in a third paper (which has not been retracted).

It’s not clear which of the authors were the subject of the investigation. The two retracted papers, “Nafamostat mesilate inhibits the expression of HMGB1 in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury” in the Journal of Anesthesia and “Coexpression of HSP47 Gene and Type I and Type III Collagen Genes in LPS-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis in Rats” in Lung, both originally published in 2007, share the same first author — Satoshi Hagiwara, whose affiliation is listed as the Department of Brain and Nerve Science, Anesthesiology, Oita University Faculty of Medicine. The papers have been cited 13 times and 12 times, respectively, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Hagiwara is also the first author on the third paper that contains the duplicated images.

The first retraction notice reads:

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“[T]hese things can happen in every lab:” Mutant plant paper uprooted after authors correct their own findings

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FrontiersThree biologists at Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan have retracted a 2014 Frontiers in Plant Science paper on abnormal root growth in Arabidopsis “in light of new experimental evidence” showing they fingered the wrong mutant gene. The journal editors are hailing the retraction as an “excellent example of self-correction of the scientific record.”

The paper, “Mechanosensitive channel candidate MCA2 is involved in touch-induced root responses in Arabidopsis,” described the abnormally behaving roots of a mca2-null mutant Arabidopsis plant.

A subsequent string of experiments by the same research team—including DNA microarrays, RT-PCR, and a PCR-based genomic deletion analysis—demonstrated that two other mutations that somehow creeped into their experimental populations may have been to blame for the abnormal root behavior.

It’s a notably thorough and informative retraction notice from Frontiers, an open-access publisher with a history of badly handled and controversial retractions and publishing decisions. The notice describes the new experiments and the previous, erroneous results: Read the rest of this entry »

JAMA vitamin-hip fracture study earns Expression of Concern for integrity issues

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jama coverJAMA has issued an Expression of Concern about a 2005 study of whether two different types of vitamin B could prevent broken hips in people who’d suffered strokes.

The original study concluded:

In this Japanese population with a high baseline fracture risk, combined treatment with folate and vitamin B12 is safe and effective in reducing the risk of a hip fracture in elderly patients following stroke.

Here’s the notice for the study, “Effect of folate and mecobalamin on hip fractures in patients with stroke: a randomized controlled trial:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 21st, 2015 at 9:30 am

ORI-sanctioned former UT-Southwestern cancer researchers up to 10 retractions

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CLThere’s been a 10th retraction from two former postdocs at a UT-Southwestern cancer research center who were sanctioned by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) last September, in part due to observations and comments from Retraction Watch readers.

It’s a 2008 Cancer Letters paper, “Methylation of apoptosis related genes in the pathogenesis and prognosis of prostate cancer,” retracted at the request of Makoto Suzuki, the first author who has claimed responsibility for falsifying data in this and five other papers. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Megan Scudellari

May 18th, 2015 at 11:30 am

NIH cancer paper retracted for faked data

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JCIFollowing an investigation into research misconduct, the Journal of Clinical Investigation has retracted a cancer genetics paper from a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health due to “data falsification and fabrication” of four figures and a table in the paper.

The paper, “FOXO3 programs tumor-associated DCs to become tolerogenic in human and murine prostate cancer,” describes an overexpressed gene in mouse prostate cancers that appears to suppress immune system cells.

The journal retracted the paper following an investigation into author Stephanie K. Watkins, then a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute. According to a NIH press release released about the study in March 2011, the work “has led to the submission of a patent application by the NIH on behalf of Hurwitz and Watkins to target FOXO3 as a way to boost immune responses in cancer and to silence excessive immune responses in autoimmune diseases.” We found an NIH record of the patent application, but no record of an approved patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office under either Hurwitz or Watkins’ names.

The paper has been cited 62 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the full notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Gynecologic cancer researcher earns eighth retraction

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Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 5.50.31 PMNoriyuki Takai, a gynecologic cancer researcher in Japan, has notched one more retraction — bringing the total to eight — due to figures that were “processed inappropriately” and did “not accurately report the original data.”

According to the notice, Takai alone put the figures together in the 2006 Oncology paper, which tested a histone deacetylase inhibitor on endometrial and ovarian cancer cell lines. The team is part of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Oita University in Japan.

Takai lost four papers in 2013 in Cancer Letters, and three papers in 2012 in Gynecologic Oncology, also due to issues with figures.

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Retraction notice for steel manufacturing paper leaves much to the imagination

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Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 4.01.21 PMReading is hard and takes a long time, so it’s nice that the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan didn’t give us too much work to do with this 12 word retraction.

Journal ISIJ International minced no words about why the 2014 paper on steel manufacturing was withdrawn, because there were no words. Here’s the notice for “Microstructure and Properties of Fiber Laser Welded Joints of Ultrahigh-strength Steel 22MnB5 and its Dissimilar Combination with Q235 Steel” in its entirety – half the length of the title!: Read the rest of this entry »