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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘unreliable findings’ Category

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nature 73014Another stem cell paper has been retracted from Nature, this one a highly cited 2008 study that had already been the subject of what the journal’s news section called a “furore” in 2010.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

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Written by Ivan Oransky

August 1, 2014 at 10:00 am

The camel doesn’t have two humps: Programming “aptitude test” canned for overzealous conclusion

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From Larry Summers to James Watson, certain scientists have a long and questionable tradition of using “data” to make claims about intelligence and aptitude.

So it’s no surprise that, when well-known computer scientist Richard Bornat claimed his PhD student had created a test to separate people who would succeed at programming versus those who didn’t, people happily embraced it. After all, it’s much easier to say there’s a large population that will just never get it, instead of re-examining your teaching methods.

The paper, called “The camel has two humps,” suggested instead of a bell curve, programming success rates look more like a two-humped ungulate: the kids who get it, and the kids who never will.

Though the paper was never formally published, it made the rounds pretty extensively. Now, Bornat has published a retraction, stating that he wrote the article during an antidepressant-driven mania that also earned him a suspension from his university. Here’s the meat of the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 18, 2014 at 8:30 am

Authors issue their own expression of concern about elephant femur paper

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interfaceThe authors of a 2012 paper in the journal Interface have had the journal issue an expression of concern about it after issues with “some of the data and methods” came to light.

Here’s the expression of concern for “What makes an accurate and reliable subject-specific finite element model? A case study of an elephant femur:” Read the rest of this entry »

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

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dhonukshe

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 »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Education researchers retract paper for differences in “positionality”

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Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 4.03.27 PMHere’s an odd one from the University of Western Australia’s education journal, Education Research and Perspectives: A paper was retracted at the request of the authors, both UWA professors, because the participants “may have differed significantly from others in terms of their positionality,” whatever that means.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Faked figure sinks paper on potential new MRI contrast agent

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langd5_v030i025.inddSurface chemistry journal Langmuir has retracted an article on a new MRI contrast agent — but only one of the authors agreed.

According to the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

“Substantial flaws” trip up big toe paper

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rehabRehabilitation Research and Practice has retracted a 2012 review article on stiff big toes.

The article, “Therapeutic Management of the Hallux Rigidus,” came from a group in India. According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

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