Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘nature retractions’ Category

European Science Foundation demands retraction of criticism in Nature, threatens legal action

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Amaya Moro-Martin

Amaya Moro-Martin

The European Science Foundation (ESF) has threatened legal action against a scientist for calling an evaluation process supported by the agency “flawed” in a commentary piece in Nature.

Amaya Moro-Martin, an assistant astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and an associate research scientist at The Johns Hopkins University, apparently angered the ESF with the bolded phrase below: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 12th, 2014 at 10:58 am

Nature, facing “considerable rise” in retractions, blames lawyers for opaque and delayed notices

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nature oct coverNature, as we and others have noticed, has had what Paul Knoepfler referred to as a “torrent” of retractions in the past two years. That torrent — 13 research papers — has prompted a welcome and soul-searching editorial, as it did in 2010 when the journal had what it called an “unusually large number” of 4.

As the editors write this week in “Retraction challenges:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 2nd, 2014 at 8:37 am

PubPeer Selections: Boosting memory in Science, extending lifespan in Nature, quantum anesthesia in PNAS

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pubpeerAs Retraction Watch readers probably know, we’re big fans of PubPeer, the post-publication peer review site that allows comments on papers. Discussions there have led to a number of corrections and retractions, and even more importantly, authors are starting to respond to clarify results, acknowledge errors, or otherwise advance knowledge. After all, as we often note, there’s a long way between raising questions about a study and retracting it.

With all of that in mind, we’re pleased to launch a new weekly post that will be called “PubPeer Selections” in which we’ll highlight featured discussions on PubPeer. Here’s the first installment: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 2nd, 2014 at 11:30 am

STAP stem cell co-author commits suicide: Reports

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Yoshiki Sasai, via RIKEN

Yoshiki Sasai, via RIKEN

In a stunning and tragic development, a co-author of the now-retracted Nature papers claiming to have found an easy way to create stem cells has committed suicide, according to news reports in Japan.

According to the Japan Times, RIKEN deputy director Yoshiki Sasai has died: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 4th, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Another Nature stem cell paper is retracted

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nature 73014Another stem cell paper has been retracted from Nature, this one a highly cited 2008 study that had already been the subject of what the journal’s news section called a “furore” in 2010.

According to that 2010 news story:

The researchers behind the original work1, led by Thomas Skutella of the University of Tübingen, reported using cells from adult human testes to create pluripotent stem cells with similar properties to embryonic stem cells.

But a 2010 Brief Communication Arising called those findings into question. And now, the authors have retracted the paper. Here’s the notice for “Generation of pluripotent stem cells from adult human testis:” Read the rest of this entry »

ORI sanctions collaborator of Nobel winner Buck for data fabrication

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ori logoThe Office of Research Integrity has sanctioned a former researcher in the lab of Linda Buck, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for falsifying data in two papers written with the support of grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The researcher, Zou Zhihua, worked with Buck as a post-doc at Harvard and then at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, Buck’s current home. After leaving there in 2005, he spent three years at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and now appears to be a faculty member at Jilin University in China.

According to the report:

Read the rest of this entry »

Incorrect analysis leads to Nature’s sixth retraction in 2014

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nature 714In what seems to be an example of researchers swiftly and transparently correcting the literature, and acknowledging errors, a pair of scientists have retracted a 2013 paper from Nature.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Genomic organization of human transcription initiation complexes,” by Bryan Venters and Frank Pugh: Read the rest of this entry »

Second Nature paper by researcher found to have violated academic integrity retracted

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Pankaj Dhonukshe

A second Nature paper co-authored by Pankaj Dhonukshe, formerly of Utrecht University and VIB Ghent, has been retracted.

Here’s the notice for “Generation of cell polarity in plants links endocytosis, auxin distribution and cell fate decisions:” Read the rest of this entry »

STAP stem cell papers officially retracted as Nature argues peer review couldn’t have detected fatal problems

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nature 714A significant chapter of the nearly six-month saga of the STAP stem cell controversy has come to an end, with Nature running retraction notices for the two papers involved. The journal has also published an editorial about the case that’s worth a read.

The retractions for “Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency” and “Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency” both read: Read the rest of this entry »

Serial fakery: Researcher found to have committed misconduct at Harvard and Oxford

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harvardA former Harvard postdoc who was found guilty of faking data at Oxford as a student did the same thing at Harvard, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

We first wrote about Helen Freeman in February, when we covered a retraction in Cell Metabolism that said the UK’s Medical Research Council had found that she committed misconduct while working as a student at Oxford. Today, a Federal Register notice from the ORI reports that Freeman faked images in a manuscript submitted to Nature while she was working on federally funded grants at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

From the ORI’s report: Read the rest of this entry »