Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘pnas retractions’ Category

Second paper for Duke lung researchers expires in a retraction

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pnas 3 5 13Scientists at Duke and the National Institutes of Health have retracted a PNAS paper on asthma treatment after realizing the data from two sources didn’t match, and “most primary data” from several experiments were missing.

The mix up seems to have come from the pulmonary function laboratory that tested how well asthmatic patients’ lungs were functioning on an experimental anti-inflammatory therapy. As the authors say in the retraction note: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

April 6th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Authors retract PNAS Epstein-Barr virus paper for “anomalous and duplicated” figures

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pnas 2515PNAS has retracted a paper on the cancer-causing Epstein-Barr virus just two months after publication, in a notice that fingers a now-former graduate student for manipulating figures.

The paper tries to explain how Epstein-Barr virus blocks the immune system’s attempts to destroy it. According to the notice, the three “nonexperimentalist authors” – identified in the paper as two P.I.’s from University of Texas at Austin and one from the University of California, San Francisco – didn’t know the figures “were not reflective of original Northern blot and immunoblot data.”

That leaves UT Austin PhD student Jennifer Cox under the bus. Her LinkedIn says she pursued a PhD from 2010-2015, though it’s unclear if she’s received a degree. Cox’s name is at the top of P.I. Christopher Sullivan’s list of past lab members, and she’s the only one on the page whose name doesn’t hyperlink to additional information, such as a contact.

The school issued a press release about the study that quoted Cox, which has been removed from the UT site but is still available on Science Daily: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract 2007 PNAS paper on aging due to figure’s “unintentional anomalies”

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pnas 2515The authors of a 2007 PNAS paper that provided molecular details for how calorie restriction may act on Sir2 enzymes to extend life are now retracting their research after discovering a figure was compromised by “several unintentional anomalies in the background image.”

According to study author David W. Piston at Vanderbilt University, first author Qinghong Zhang cut and pasted images together to beautify a figure showing how a form of sugar affects the expression of SIRT1, the mammalian version of the Sir2 enzyme: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

February 4th, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Authors get away with throwing quotation marks around plagiarized passages. Again.

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PNAS jan15Back in November 2013, we wrote about a correction in PNAS about a May 2012 paper by a group from Toronto and Mount Sinai in New York who, as we said at the time

had been rather too liberal in their use of text from a previously published paper by another researcher — what we might call plagiarism, in a less charitable mood.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

January 21st, 2015 at 11:30 am

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 »

Cardiology researcher who admitted to fraud earns four-year funding ban

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dfg_logoA researcher who admitted in 2012 to “intentional and systematic manipulation” of data and had two papers retracted has been banned from funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Dennis Rottländer, who will also be returning prize money he was awarded for the research, worked in Uta C. Hoppe’s lab at the University of Cologne. Hoppe, now at University Hospital Salzburg, remains under investigation, according to a statement from the DFG.

Excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 23rd, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Rapid mood swing: PNAS issues Expression of Concern for controversial Facebook study

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pnas 1113The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is subjecting a much-criticized study involving Facebook that it published just two weeks ago to an Expression of Concern.

From the abstract of the original study: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 3rd, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Former Mount Sinai postdoc faked gene therapy data: ORI

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ori logoA former postdoc at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York faked data in four published papers, one submitted manuscript, and four NIH grant applications, according to new findings by the Office of Research Integrity.

We reported on six retractions from Savio Woo’s Mount Sinai lab in 2010, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and two each from Human Gene Therapy and Molecular Therapy. The PNAS paper, as we noted then:

claimed to have discovered a possible cure for phenylketonuria, or PKU, in mice—a finding that was cited more than 30 times and trumpeted in the media.

At the time, Mount Sinai said that two of the lab’s postdocs had been dismissed for misconduct. Now, more than three and a half years later, the ORI reports that a former postdoc in that lab, Li Chen: Read the rest of this entry »

Shigeaki Kato notches retractions 16 and 17, in PNAS

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katoShigeaki Kato has two more retractions, both in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Here’s one of the notices: Read the rest of this entry »

Former NIH scientist falsified images in hepatitis study: ORI

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Baoyan Xu, via NIH

Baoyan Xu, via NIH

A former postdoc at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) committed misconduct in a study of hepatitis by falsely claiming that data from a single trial subject were actually from more than a dozen different people, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has found.

The investigation was prompted by allegations made by readers of the paper. Baoyan Xu made what the ORI called “a limited admission” that “some better looking strips were repeatedly used as representatives for several times [sic].”

According to a report of the ORI’s findings to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, the paper, “Hybrid DNA virus in Chinese patients with seronegative hepatitis discovered by deep sequencing, published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 29th, 2013 at 9:30 am