Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘wrong reagents’ Category

PNAS paper on dengue virus pulled due to contamination

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PNAS_ak11smThe authors of a paper on dengue virus vaccine design published last year in PNAS are retracting it after discovering that their experimental dengue virus was contaminated.

Although they are confident that the strategy is sound, the authors write in their commendably detailed retraction notice that the “inadvertent error” rendered the results “uninterpretable.”

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

Written by Alla Katsnelson

May 12th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Third structure slip-up for chemist in Korea yields retraction

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Chem_ak3Authors of a 2010 Chemistry – A European Journal article have retracted it “due to the wrong assignment of structure” of catalysts.

The retraction is the third, by our count, for corresponding author Doo Ok Jang, a chemist at Yonsei University in Wonju. Jang authored one of the previously retracted papers with Sung Jun Kim and the other with Sang Yoon Kim. Both papers were also sunk by misassigned structures.

The current study, “Enantioselective Radical Addition to Ketimines: A Synthetic Route Towards α,α-Disubstituted α-Amino Acids,” is authored by all three chemists. Here’s the retraction notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Nature Cell Biology insulin paper retracted over antibody problems

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nature cell biologyNature Cell Biology article on insulin regulation has been retracted after scientists noted that the antibodies used in their research were not as specific as they had previously believed.

The notice is clear on the problems with the science, which together “call into question the main conclusions of the paper.” Three of the paper’s five authors were employed at Novartis at the time of publication.

Here’s the notice for “Wolfram syndrome 1 and adenylyl cyclase 8 interact at the plasma membrane to regulate insulin production and secretion”: Read the rest of this entry »

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 »