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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cell’ Category

Fraud fells Alzheimer’s “made to order” neurons paper in Cell

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cell414In 2011, a group of researchers at Columbia University reported in Cell that they had been able to convert skin cells from patients with Alzheimer’s disease into functioning neurons — a finding that raised the exciting prospect of “made to order” brain cells for patients with the degenerative disease. As one researcher not involved with the study, led by Asa Abeliovich, put it:

“[This is] simply a remarkable and complete piece of work which will now set a standard for stem cell work in neurological disease. The standard of the characterization of the neuronal cultures is very high,” John Hardy at University College London, U.K., wrote to [Alzforum]. He was not involved in the work but is taking a similar approach in his own lab.

According to the abstract of “Directed Conversion of Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Skin Fibroblasts into Functional Neurons:”

Read the rest of this entry »

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“I am deeply saddened and disturbed:” Co-author of retracted Nature paper reveals how problems came to light

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Ben Scheres

Ben Scheres

On Wednesday, we reported on a Nature retraction of a paper whose corresponding author had also had a Cell paper retracted, and had been found to have committed a “violation of academic integrity” by Utrecht University. Today, we present the back story of how those retractions came to be, from another co-author of both papers, Ben Scheres, of Wageningen University: Read the rest of this entry »

Utrecht University finds “violation of academic integrity” by former researcher

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Pankaj Dhonukshe

We have an update on the case of Pankaj Dhonukshe, a scientist about whom we reported in November. Utrecht University has found that Dhonukshe, a former researcher at the Dutch university, committed “a violation of academic integrity” in work that led to a number of papers, including one published in Nature and once since retracted from Cell.

Here’s the university’s statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Cell update: Co-corresponding author let go from Belgian university; retraction notice language changed

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cell november 2013We’ve learned more about the circumstances behind a Cell retraction that we covered last week.

First, one of the two corresponding authors left the institution where he most recently worked. Belgium’s VIB Ghent told us that Pankaj Dhonukshe was no longer employed there and said: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract Cell paper amid ongoing investigation

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cell november 2013The authors of a 2012 paper in Cell have retracted it after discovering “serious issues with several figures.”

Here’s the notice for “A PLETHORA-Auxin Transcription Module Controls Cell Division Plane Rotation through MAP65 and CLASP:” Read the rest of this entry »

Nature yanks controversial genetics paper whose co-author was found dead in lab in 2012

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naturecover1113Nature has retracted a controversial 2012 paper by a group from Johns Hopkins University which has been the subject of a protracted public dispute.

The article, “Functional dissection of lysine deacetylases reveals that HDAC1 and p300 regulate AMPK,” came from the lab of Jef Boeke,  a celebrated biochemist. But a former lab member, Daniel Yuan, who was fired by Hopkins in late 2011 after 10 years at the institution, had repeatedly raised questions about the validity of the findings. Those concerns eventually made their way into the Washington Post, prompting this response from the university. Read the rest of this entry »

Cell reviewing allegations of image reuse in human embryonic stem cell cloning paper

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cell cloningCell is looking into whether the authors of a widely hailed study published last week claiming to have turned human skin cells into embryonic stem cells manipulated images inappropriately, Retraction Watch has learned.

The potential image problems came to light on PubPeer, a site designed to allow for post-publication peer review. A commenter, identified as Peer1, identified “several examples of image reuse which might be of interest to PubPeer members and readers:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm

MIT lab retracts Cell synapse tagging paper for falsification or fabrication

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cell feb 2013A rising star at MIT has retracted a paper after an investigation found that her former postdoc had “falsified or fabricated figures.”

Alice Ting, winner of an NIH Directors Pioneer Award and named one of Technology Review’sInnovators Under 35,” published the paper, “Imaging Activity-Dependent Regulation of Neurexin-Neuroligin Interactions Using trans-Synaptic Enzymatic Biotinylation,” in Cell in 2010 along with Amar Thyagarajan.

The notice is refreshingly detailed given the circumstances: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 15, 2013 at 7:09 am

A retracted Cell paper reappears elsewhere, sans author who didn’t sign retraction notice

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acta neuropathologicaOne of the things we try to do here at Retraction Watch is keep tabs on retracted work that appears again the literature. We did that twice in one day last year, once with a paper about chimps that was retracted from Biology Letters and ended up in the Journal of Human Evolution, and then again with a PLOS ONE paper on on “longevity genes” that had been retracted from Science.

Today, we have another case. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 13, 2013 at 9:30 am

Neuroscientists retract Cell autism model paper for “improperly assembled” figures

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cell 1-17-13A group of authors have retracted a Cell paper describing a mouse model of autism because of image problems.

The senior author on the paper — there were 22 altogether — is Paul Worley of Johns Hopkins. Here’s the notice for “Enhanced Polyubiquitination of Shank3 and NMDA Receptor in a Mouse Model of Autism:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm


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