Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘journal of cell science’ Category

Authors reused images in three papers, concludes journal probe

with 12 comments

JBCBiologists are retracting three papers after the journal concluded they contain reused images, designed to represent different experiments. The authors stand by the conclusions, some of which they say have been “extensively validated.”

The Journal of Biological Chemistry used image analysis software to evaluate the images, first published at least a decade ago. Unfortunately, the raw data behind the problematic images were not available. The authors have also corrected a fourth paper in another journal, and wrote on PubPeer that they are working with journals to address concerns in three more.

The papers share two authors: Mireia Duñach at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Antonio García de Herreros at the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques. A representative of the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques told us it is looking into Garcia de Herreros’s work.

We’ll start with “β-Catenin N- and C-terminal tails modulate the coordinated binding of adherens junction proteins to β-catenin,” which has been cited 45 times since it was published in 2002, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. The retraction notice says:

Read the rest of this entry »

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

with 10 comments

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 »

Authors correct highly cited biology paper due to “genuine mistake”

with 14 comments

Journal of Cell ScienceAuthors of a highly cited biology paper in the Journal of Cell Science (JCS) have corrected the data underlying one of the figures.

The 2003 paper, “The transcription factor Slug represses E-cadherin expression and induces epithelial to mesenchymal transitions: a comparison with Snail and E47 repressors,” has been cited 566 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. One of the authors is the last author on a recent high profile retraction from Nature Genetics, which cost the first author a grant from the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

The correction note tells us a bit more: Read the rest of this entry »

Journals flag 6 papers, request investigation of New Jersey university biologists

with 8 comments

Two journals have published six expressions of concern for a pair of biologists at Rowan University, and are asking the university to undertake an investigation.

We contacted the editors of the two journals — Journal of Cell Science and Biology Open — who both said they decided to flag the papers after a reader raised concerns about potential re-use of blot images. The six papers are co-authored by John G. Pastorino, a molecular biologist at Rowan University in New Jersey and Nataly Shulga, whose LinkedIn identifies her as a research specialist at the same institution. According to the nearly identical notes, the journals (which share a publisher) undertook a review of the original data, but “felt unable to resolve this matter.”

The expressions of concern — five from the  Journal of Cell Science and one from Biology Open — include pretty much the same text. Here’s the note that appeared in JCS:

Read the rest of this entry »

Investigation of prominent geneticist Latchman finds “procedural matters,” no misconduct

with 12 comments

David Latchman, Birkbeck

An investigation by the University College London has cleared prominent geneticist David Latchman of misconduct, but concluded he has “procedural matters in his lab that required attention.”

Latchman has two retracted paperson PubPeer, there are questions about nearly four dozen more.

The results of the investigation were first reported by the Times Higher Education. We also received a short statement from a UCL spokesperson:

Read the rest of this entry »

Sun sets on Sun Yat-sen University cell bio paper

with one comment

j cell scienceResearchers at Sun Yat-sen University in China have lost a paper in the Journal of Cell Science for “inappropriate figure manipulations,” which they blame entirely on the first author.

According to the notice, three figures were “inappropriately modified” — cells or nuclei were moved, and the edges of cell images were trimmed. The researchers place the responsibility on first author Liping Chen, claiming that “her co-authors were completely unaware.”

The modifications didn’t affect the conclusions, the note says, but after an investigation by Sun Yat-sen University, the journal decided to retract the paper. Liping Chen says she “regrets the inappropriate figure manipulations,” according to the note.

Read the rest of this entry »

Prominent geneticist David Latchman’s group notches second retraction

with 11 comments

j cell scienceA team of researchers whose work is under investigation by University College London has retracted a second paper.

Three of the 11 authors of the 2005 Journal of Cell Science paper being retracted — David Latchman, Richard Knight, and Anastasis Stephanou — were authors of a Journal of Biological Chemistry paper retracted in January. Stephanou takes the blame for the “errors” which felled the Journal of Cell Science paper, about how a tumor suppressor responds to DNA damage.

Here’s the notice for “STAT-1 facilitates the ATM activated checkpoint pathway following DNA damage:” Read the rest of this entry »

University College London mitochondrial biologist resigns after three retractions for image fraud

with 10 comments

Courtesy Nature Publishing Group

A biologist at University College London (UCL) has resigned his post and taken responsibility for “inappropriate figures manipulations” in three now-retracted papers.

Assegid Garedew, formerly a senior research investigator in Salvador Moncada‘s group, stepped down earlier this summer in the midst of an investigation that should be completed soon, Moncada tells Retraction Watch.

The three retraction notices for papers by Garedew and colleagues are all similar.

From Cell Metabolism: “Mitochondrial Dynamics, Biogenesis, and Function Are Coordinated with the Cell Cycle by APC/CCDH1“, cited once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge: Read the rest of this entry »

Coming clean: A major figure in cardiology publishes a lengthy conflict of interest correction in JAMA

with 13 comments

Authors’ financial disclosures can be a thorny issue for scientific journals.  There’s often confusion over just what should be listed as a conflict of interest, and when relationships are revealed after papers are published, lack of disclosure sometimes leads to corrections.

For example, the Journal of Cell Science recently published this: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 7th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

A mega-correction, but no retraction, in the Journal of Cell Science

with 28 comments

In our 2011 year-end post, we promised to keep

…an eye on what may be an emerging trend: The mega-correction. We’ve seen errata notices that correct so many different errors, it’s hard to believe the paper shouldn’t have been retracted. It’s unclear what this means yet, but watch this space for coverage of more examples.

We’ve found another example in the Journal of Cell Science, “Immunobiology of naïve and genetically modified HLA-class-I-knockdown human embryonic stem cells,” originally published in September 2011. The correction begins with what turns out to be a bit of an understatement: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 12th, 2012 at 9:30 am