Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘wrong reagents’ Category

Cell line switch sinks PLoS ONE cancer paper

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plosWe’ve written before about how common cell line mix ups are in cancer research; according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal article (paywalled), between a fifth and a third of cancer cell lines tested by suspicious researchers turned out to be misidentified.

Obviously, mistakenly studying the wrong kind of cancer is a waste of precious resources, both time and money. And it’s clear the problem hasn’t gone away. PLoS ONE just retracted a cancer paper originally published in December 2012 for studying two cell lines that had been contaminated by other cell types.

Here’s the notice for “Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition Is Required for Acquisition of Anoikis Resistance and Metastatic Potential in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma”:
Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers retract breast cancer study after realizing they were using the wrong antibody

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br j cancerA group of researchers at Istanbul University has swiftly retracted a paper they published in March in the British Journal of Cancer once it became clear that they were using the wrong antibody.

Here’s the notice for “Clinical significance of p95HER2 overexpression, PTEN loss and PI3K expression in p185HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab-based therapies:” Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers repeat retracted study, republish in same journal sans first author

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biol psychWe’ve been following the case of Amine Bahi, a neuroscience researcher in the United Arab Emirates who has managed something unusual in the annals of Retraction Watch: Three different retractions for three completely different reasons. One was for “legal issues,” another was for lack of IRB approval, and the third was for using RNAs from the wrong species.

Now, Bahi’s co-authors have repeated the last of those studies with the right RNAs, and have republished their paper in the same journal, Biological Psychiatry — but without Bahi.

The retraction notice for “Blockade of Protein Phosphatase 2B Activity in the Amygdala Increases Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors in Mice” now includes this final paragraph: Read the rest of this entry »

Lactobacillus intolerance: Bacterium mixup forces retraction

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bjncoverThe British Journal of Nutrition has retracted a 2013 paper by a group of researchers from Taiwan after learning that the authors had studied the wrong strain of microbe.

The article was titled “Oral Lactobacillus reuteri GMN-32 treatment reduces blood glucose concentrations and promotes cardiac function in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus.”

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Former Hopkins and Pitt cancer researcher notches sixth retraction

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GetzenbergRobert Getzenberg, a former researcher at Hopkins and Pitt, has retracted a sixth paper, this one in Cancer Research.

Here’s the notice for “Mechanistic Analysis of the Role of BLCA-4 in Bladder Cancer Pathobiology:” Read the rest of this entry »

Rats! Neuroscientist notches third retraction, this one for using the wrong RNAs

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biol psychAmine Bahi, a neuroscience researcher in the United Arab Emirates, has had a third paper retracted.

Here’s the notice for “Blockade of Protein Phosphatase 2B Activity in the Amygdala Increases Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors in Mice,” which was posted on November 19: Read the rest of this entry »

Pamela Ronald does the right thing again, retracting a Science paper

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Pamela Ronald, via UC Davis

Pamela Ronald, via UC Davis

About a month ago, we reported on a retraction by Pamela Ronald, of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues. We noted then that this was a case of scientists doing the right thing. Ronald contacted us after that post ran, and let us know that there would be another retraction shortly. That retraction notice has now appeared, in Science: Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer cell line mixup leads to retraction

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ccr 9-15At team of researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center has retracted a paper after realizing that the cell lines they were using weren’t what they thought they were.

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

Doing the right thing: Researchers retract quorum sensing paper after public process

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Pamela Ronald, via UC Davis

Pamela Ronald, via UC Davis

We’ll say it again: We like being able to point out when researchers stand up and do the right thing, even at personal cost.

In December 2011, Pamela C. Ronald, of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues published a paper in PLOS ONE,”Small Protein-Mediated Quorum Sensing in a Gram-Negative Bacterium.” Such quorum sensing research is a “hot topic” right now, so not surprisingly the paper caught the attention of other scientists, and the media, including the Western Farm Press. The study has been cited eight times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

One of those scientists who took notice was Ronald’s UC Davis colleague Jonathan Eisen, who posted about the paper on his blog. That was on January 9, 2012. But if you go to that post today, you’ll see that Eisen struck through most of it, and added this comment: Read the rest of this entry »

Paper retracted because images “were, in fact, electron microscopy results of totally different catalysts”

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catcommA group of chemical engineers in China has retracted their article on photocatalysts after alerting the journal that images in the paper did not show what they’d reported.

The article, which appeared in Catalysis Communications earlier this year, was titled “Synthesis and characterization of novel Cu2O/PANI composite photocatalysts with enhanced photocatalytic activity and stability,” and was written by Xiufang Wang, Guangmei Chen and Jun Zhang of the School of Materials and Chemical Engineering at Anhui University of Architecture, in Hefei.

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