Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘plos genetics’ Category

Four retractions follow Swedish government findings of negligence, dishonesty

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242915_1uu_logoA Swedish ethical review board has censured two biologists and their employer, Uppsala University, for events related to “extensive image manipulations” in five papers published between 2010 and 2014. The case has led to criticism from an outside expert — who brought the allegations to Uppsala — over the current system in Sweden for handling such investigations.

Four of the papers have been retracted, and the authors have requested a correction in the fifth.

After an eight-month investigation, in September the government-run Expert Group for Scientific Misconduct at the Central Ethical Review Board in Stockholm, Sweden, concluded that Uppsala professor Kenneth Söderhäll — who has published more than 200 papers — and lecturer Irene Söderhäll acted “negligently” and “dishonestly” by Read the rest of this entry »

PLOS Genetics updates flagged paper with expression of concern

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Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 2.15.29 PM

PLOS Genetics has upgraded a notice on a paper to an expression of concern, raising the count for author chemist Ariel Fernandez to one retracted paper, and three expressions of concern.

The journal published “Protein Under-Wrapping Causes Dosage Sensitivity and Decreases Gene Duplicability” in 2008. In 2013, Fernandez corrected it, claiming that the work was not actually funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, as the original paper had said. The paper has been cited 33 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the expression of concern in full, which was published on September 14:

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Written by Shannon Palus

September 24th, 2015 at 11:30 am

5th retraction for Voinnet follows correction, EoC to PLOS Genetics paper

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PLOS GeneticsAfter correcting a paper due to problematic figure panels, researchers led by high-profile biologist Olivier Voinnet have now retracted it, after “further analysis of the paper revealed flaws in the interpretation of” another figure.

PLOS Genetics published the retraction notice September 3 for the 2013 paper on the molecular details of embryonic stem cells in mice. First author Constance Ciaudo and Voinnet assume “full responsibility for the mistakes on this paper,” according to the note.

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Written by Ross Keith

September 8th, 2015 at 9:40 am

Corrections (and one EoC) propagate for distinguished plant biologist, Olivier Voinnet

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Olivier Voinnet

Olivier Voinnet

There may be some deeply rooted issues in the work of high-profile plant biologist Olivier Voinnet, biology department research director at ETH in Zurich. Corrections have continued to pile up months after his work was hit with a barrage of criticism on PubPeer. We’ve tracked a total of seven corrections over the past five months (not including the April retraction of a 2004 paper in The Plant Cell). One of the corrected papers also received an Expression of Concern this week.

Collectively, the corrected papers have accumulated more than 1200 citations.

In January, Voinnet said he planned to correct multiple papers, after receiving “an anonymous email.”

One of the recent corrections we found is for a 2003 article in The Plant Journal, “An enhanced transient expression system in plants based on suppression of gene silencing by the p19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus,” which details using proteins from a tomato virus to help alter gene expression. The study has been cited 862 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the correction notice, posted June 8:

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PLOS Genetics investigating paper by Ariel Fernandez

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Ariel Fernandez, via Wikipedia

Ariel Fernandez, via Wikipedia

Ariel Fernandez‘s list of papers with editorial asterisks next to them grew again this week.

Fernandez has had one paper retracted, two papers subject to Expressions of Concern, including one from Nature, and another put on hold over data concerns. He threatened to sue us for covering one of the Expressions of Concern.

Here’s the “Notice from PLOS Genetics” for “Protein Under-Wrapping Causes Dosage Sensitivity and Decreases Gene Duplicability:”

Please be advised that PLOS is working with the authors on an investigation regarding one or more issues that have been raised with respect to the content or authorship of this paper.

We asked Fernandez for more details. He did not provide any, saying only that the criticisms of the work “have no scientific value” because they were made anonymously: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 9th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Researcher who threatened Retraction Watch with lawsuit corrects funding source for several papers

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Ariel Fernandez, source: Wikipedia

Ariel Fernandez, source: Wikipedia

Ariel Fernandez, an Argentine chemist (who claims to hold the fastest-awarded PhD from Yale) and the subject of institutional investigations at multiple universities, has corrected several papers recently. What makes the moves particularly unusual — and interesting — is the stated reason for the amendments: disclaiming any funding from the National Institutes of Health for the work.

Fernandez was the recipient in 2005 of a $275,880 award “Protein packing defects as functional markers and drug targets.” The following year he received $294,217, and in 2007, $284,461, for the same four-year project, if we’re reading the link correctly.

Fernandez, readers of this blog might recall, threatened us with legal action when we wrote last spring about an expression of concern regarding his 2011 paper in BMC Genomics, “Subfunctionalization reduces the fitness cost of gene duplication in humans by buffering dosage imbalances.” According to that notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

October 17th, 2013 at 9:30 am