Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘Biochimica et Biophysica Acta’ Category

More co-author misconduct raises NIH neuroscientist’s retraction count to 8

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Stanley Rapoport. Source: NIH

Stanley Rapoport. Source: NIH

Not again.

That’s the sound of learning that a third scientist you worked with committed misconduct.

In the last two years, we reported on two retractions for neuroscientist Stanley Rapoport, the result of misconduct by two different first authors. We’ve since discovered more retractions resulting from those cases — and a new retraction stemming from the actions of yet another co-author.  

Although the latest retraction notice doesn’t reveal the reason for retraction, both the journal editor and Rapoport — based at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — confirmed to us that it is the result of misconduct by the last author, Jagadeesh Rao. According to Rapoport, a “number of retractions [for] Rao are still in the works.”

We asked Rapoport for his reaction to multiple cases of misconduct by his colleagues, including the two first authors we’ve already reported on, Fei Gao and Mireille Basselin:

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7th retraction for Ohio researcher who manipulated dozens of figures

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Terry Elton, via OSU

Terry Elton

A pharmacology researcher at Ohio State University has added his seventh retraction, four years after a finding of misconduct by the U.S. Office of Integrity (ORI).

An analysis of the work of Terry Elton determined that he had

falsified and/or fabricated Western blots in eighteen (18) figures and in six (6) published papers.

 In 2012, the ORI finding, which resulted in a three-year funding ban (that is now complete), recommended that Elton retract all six papers, one of which had already been retracted at the time of the report. 

Four years later, the last of the six papers flagged by the ORI has finally been retracted by Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology.

Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Biologist with five-year funding ban earns 7th and 8th retractions

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Biology OpenA biologist in New Jersey has retracted two more papers, bringing his total to eight retractions, following a finding by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

The analysis of the work of John Pastorino, previously a cell biologist at Rowan University, in Glassboro, concluded that he had doctored more than 40 images, resulting in a five-year funding ban.

The report flagged eight published papers (and an unpublished one), six of which had already received expressions of concern (EOCs). Nataly Shulga was a co-author on all eight papers. With these two new retractions in Biology Open and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Bioenergetics, all of the flagged papers have now been retracted.

Here’s the retraction notice for the Biology Open paper, issued July 15:

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New Jersey university biologist earns funding ban for doctoring more than 40 images

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John Pastorino

John Pastorino

A researcher has agreed to a five-year ban on Federal U.S. funding for research after the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) determined that he had falsified or fabricated more than 40 images in nine papers.

The findings, released by the ORI today, are another chapter in a case involving John Pastorino, a cell biologist at Rowan University. In February, we reported that two journals had issued expressions of concern (EOCs) for six of his papers.

Pastorino, according to the ORI,  Read the rest of this entry »

Singapore investigation leads to two retractions, two more on the way

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cov150hAuthors have retracted papers from Cell Metabolism and the Journal of Biological Chemistry after an investigation in Singapore found issues, including falsified data. The investigation is ongoing, and two additional retractions, along with two corrections, are on the horizon.

The investigation looked into papers by first authors Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, now a postdoc at Harvard, and Sandhya Sriram, a postdoc at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore. Led by the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where some of the work was done, the investigation concluded that there were issues with six papers on which either Sriram or Lokireddy was first author.

All authors but Lokireddy have agreed to retractions or corrections. Ravi Kambadur of NTU, and Mridula Sharma at the National University of Singapore, are the last two authors on all the papers.

According to a notice from the NTU, the “investigation found a number of instances of alterations to data” in three papers on which Lokireddy is first author. One of those was retracted December 1 by Cell Metabolism: Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer team loses two papers for image manipulation

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bba_2A team spread across multiple institutions in China and McGill University in Canada has retracted two cancer papers over “inaccurate and inappropriately processed Western Blots.”

Some of the figures were also reused between the two articles, both in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta General Subjects.

The articles both tested the cancer-fighting properties of a derivative of the active compound present in Boswellia serrata gum resin.

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PubPeer strikes again: Leukemia paper retracted for image duplications

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bbaIn July, a PubPeer commenter called out a paper in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta for image duplication; by September, the paper was retracted for the exact reason detailed in the anonymous comment.

Here’s the notice for “Effect of ST3GAL 4 and FUT 7 on sialyl Lewis X synthesis and multidrug resistance in human acute myeloid leukemia,” a paper initially published in June: Read the rest of this entry »

ORI: Ohio State researcher manipulated two dozen figures in NIH grants, papers

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terry elton

Terry Elton, via OSU

Terry S. Elton, a researcher at Ohio State University in Columbus who studies genetic expression in various heart conditions and Down syndrome, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity for fabricating and/or falsifying data in a number of NIH grants and resulting papers.

According to an OSU statement sent to Retraction Watch last night, it was an anonymous whistleblower who alerted the university to the potential misconduct in July 2010. The ORI report notes that he two OSU investigations, along with the ORI investigation, found that Elton: Read the rest of this entry »

Back in the saddle: After more than 30 retractions, Naoki Mori publishing again

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Naoki Mori

Perhaps it’s appropriate given the Easter season, but we have learned that Naoki Mori, the Japanese cancer researcher who received a 10-year publishing ban from the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) for imagine manipulation, has published a new paper.

Mori, who was fired and then rehired by the University of the Ryukyus over the scandal, is listed as the senior author on the paper, “Honokiol induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via inhibition of survival signals in adult T-cell leukemia,” which appears in the March issue of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. The journal, an Elsevier title, is an umbrella for nine publications in the biosciences.

Two of Mori’s retracted articles appeared in the Elsevier journals Leukemia Research and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Read the rest of this entry »

Another withdrawal by MD Anderson’s Aggarwal, again for unclear reasons

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Bharat B. Aggarwal, the MD Anderson researcher under investigation at his institution over concerns of image manipulation, has withdrawn a second paper, although you’d never know why from the statement.

The notice for the article, “Evidence for the critical roles of NF-κB p65 and specificity proteins in the apoptosis-inducing activity of proteasome inhibitors in leukemia cells,” is pretty minimal: Read the rest of this entry »