Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘image manipulation’ Category

Investigation leads to retraction of breast cancer paper, second for one author

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Journal of Biological Chemistry.coverThe authors of a Journal of Biological Chemistry paper on a breast cancer gene are withdrawing it following an investigation at Roswell Park Cancer Institute that found a figure contained “manipulated” data.

Last author Toru Ouchi is based at Roswell in the department of cancer genetics.

Second to last author Sam W. Lee, at Massachusetts General Hospital, lost a Molecular Cell paper in 2013 after some figures were “inappropriately manipulated.”

Here’s the withdrawal note from JBC (which, unusually — but happily so — includes some explanation of what’s wrong with the paper): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 4th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Stem cell researcher Jacob Hanna’s correction count updated to 10

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Jacob Hanna

Jacob Hanna

Thanks to some eagle-eyed readers, we’ve been alerted to some corrections for high profile stem cell scientist Jacob Hanna that we had missed, bringing our count to one retraction and 13 errata on 10 papers.

The problems in the work range from duplications of images, to inadvertent deletions in figures, to failures by his co-authors to disclose funding sources or conflicts of interest. Hanna is the first or last author on 4 of the papers, and one of several on the rest.

First up, a correction to a Cell paper on which Hanna is the first author:

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Retraction of grizzly bear-diabetes study follows departure of Amgen scientist for data manipulation

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The retracted paper made the cover of the August 2014 issue of the journal.

A study that looked to hibernating bears to understand the mechanisms behind diabetes has been retracted because an author based at the biotech company Amgen “manipulated specific experimental data” in two figures.

According to the The Wall Street JournalAmgen discovered the manipulation while reviewing the data following publication of the paper,”Grizzly bears exhibit augmented insulin sensitivity while obese prior to a reversible insulin resistance during hibernation.” Published in Cell Metabolism last year, the paper has been cited 8 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

A press release from the journal last year — coverage in Science and Nature followed — explained the purpose of the study:

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Written by Shannon Palus

September 2nd, 2015 at 9:30 am

Investigation digs up data falsification in two papers on roundworm stress

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18.coverAn investigation at the University of Florida has led to the retraction of a pair of papers on the stress responses of Caenorhabditis elegans in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

One paper has been retracted, and one “partially” retracted, as the main conclusion was “not compromised.” According to the retraction notes, the investigation found the data were “falsified” by first author Chi Leung, a former postdoc at UF.

Here’s the note in full for the partial retraction of “A Negative-Feedback Loop between the Detoxification/Antioxidant Response Factor SKN-1 and Its Repressor WDR-23 Matches Organism Needs with Environmental Conditions:”

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EMBO investigation yields two more retractions and three corrections for Voinnet

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Olivier Voinnet

Olivier Voinnet

An investigation into the work of Olivier Voinnet by The EMBO Journal has led to another two retractions and three more corrections for the high-profile plant scientist, now suspended from the CNRS for two years.

According to the authors, Voinnet was responsible for some of the errors; all papers have been questioned on PubPeer.

The EMBO J, the flagship publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization, posted four notices earlier today and told Retraction Watch that the notice for the fifth paper would be posted by tomorrow.

This latest round brings our count for Voinnet up to Read the rest of this entry »

Eighth retraction published for former physiology researcher

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International Journal of CancerA lung cancer paper in the International Journal of Cancer has been retracted because of “serious errors related to image duplication.” This marks the eighth retraction for first author, ShouWei Han.

The decision was made by the journal’s editor-in-chief, the publisher Wiley and co-author Jesse Roman (a co-author on Han’s other retracted papers). According to the notice, Han didn’t respond “to requests by the journal or the co-author.”

In 2011, Han was the target of an investigation by his former employer, the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology have been retracted.

Here’s the full retraction notice for the latest retraction:

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Investigation triggers retraction for biochem paper

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PLOS BiologyA paper has been retracted from PLOS Biology for duplicating lanes and incorporating others that “came from an unrelated experiment that had already been published.”

According to the retraction notice, first author Laura Cerchia says that the mistakes came “as a consequence of incorrect incorporation of representative blots.” Cerchia — along with her supervisor, study author Vittorio de Franciscis — apologizes for this.” None of the other authors were “involved in the preparation of these figures, and there is no concern about the results that they contributed.”

Cerchia maintains that the paper’s conclusions are still valid, but the remaining authors write that the issues undermines their confidence in the results. According to the notice, the retraction is a result of “an institutional inquiry” at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Rome, where Cerchia and de Franciscis are both based.

The notice tells the rest of the story:

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Canadian researchers in legal battle over investigation object to third retraction

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The Journal of Clinical InvestigationA third retraction — and a notice of concern — have emerged from the investigation into a husband and wife research team at the University of Toronto that found evidence of faked images and duplicated data.

The problem, according to the latest retraction note for Sylvia Asa and Shereen Ezzat, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation: Portions of the RT-PCR gels “are duplicated in this publication and in a subsequent publication.” That subsequent publication is a 2003 paper that has received a Notice of Concern from the American Journal of Pathology.

According to the retraction note, co-author Gillian E. Wu of York University signed off on the journal’s decision, but Asa, Ezzat and second author Lei Zheng dissented to the retraction. Third author Xian-Feng Zhu couldn’t be reached. Although corresponding author Asa noted that “the initial screen of these samples support the conclusions made in the paper,” the JCI made its position perfectly clear in the note:

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Inquiry into duplications reveals “multiple” image problems in tumor study

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STEM_17_1.c1.inddA paper on how abnormal stem cells can cause benign bone tumors has been retracted by Cell Stem Cell after an inquiry into image duplications also uncovered “multiple instances of inappropriate western blot image adjustment.”

The first two authors “declined” to sign the retraction, according to the notice.

Besides confirming initial suspicions that images had been duplicated, the editors also found “multiple instances of inappropriate western blot image adjustment, such as uneven compression of images and removal of background elements:”

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Voinnet notches second retraction, two more corrections

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PNASOlivier Voinnet — a plant researcher who was recently suspended for two years from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) after an investigation by ETH Zurich and CNRS found evidence of misconduct — has issued his second retraction and two more corrections.

PNAS posted the retraction earlier this week for a 2006 article after an inspection of the raw data revealed “errors” in study images. Authors confirmed the issues in some figures and revealed “additional mounting mistakes” in others.

Voinnet has promised to issue retractions and corrections for every study that requires them. These latest notices bring our tally up to nine corrections, two retractions and one Expression of Concern.

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