Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cell biology’ Category

Are retractions more frequent in stem cell research?

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sci eng ethicsThere are a number of fields that seem to punch above their weight on Retraction Watch: Anesthesiology, home to the world record holder (and runner-up), and psychology, home to Diederik Stapel and others. But the red-hot field of stem cell research is another that makes frequent appearances, last year’s STAP controversy being particularly prominent.

There’s an interesting (but unfortunately paywalled) recent paper in Science and Engineering Ethics, “The Acid Test for Biological Science: STAP Cells, Trust, and Replication,” by Cheryl Lancaster, a small part of which tries to answer that question.

Lancaster applies the same methods Fang, Steen, and Casadevall used to broadly measure the causes of retractions in all life science and biomedicine to the specific field of stem cell research: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 26th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Figure dupe sinks cell bio paper

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cellular biohemTulane researchers Tong Wu and Chang Han, who have been anonymously accused of figure duplication in the past, have now finally lost a paper for that reason.

The frequent plagiarism tipster Juuichi Jigen (a pseudonym) set up a blog in 2012 alleging that the pair inappropriately reused images in six other papers, though none of those have been retracted. The recent notice, issued at the end of January by the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, states that the figure duplication was confirmed by the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Research Integrity. Han, the first author, was at UPitt when the paper was published in 2008, though she moved to join Wu at Tulane in 2009.

Here’s the notice for “Regulation of Wnt/ß-Catenin Pathway by cPLA2α and PPARδ“: Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth retraction appears for cancer researcher Anil Jaiswal

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cancer research 1113The hits keep coming for University of Maryland researcher Anil Jaiswal.

The latest retraction for the cell biologist is in Cancer Research, for a 2007 paper about ways in which the cell tries to protect the tumor suppressor p53. Like the first Jaiswal retraction we covered, the latest notice specifically taps figure duplication as the cause of death, “as a result of an error.” The other two retractions gave no explanation for the withdrawal.

Here’s the notice: 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

“Immorally” affecting the literature: Authors blame sloppy work from an outside lab for retraction

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SpandidosA group of Chinese researchers has retracted a paper, saying that an outside lab switched their immunofluorescent stains with another research group’s.

The group has decided to repeat the experiments on their own next time.

Here’s the notice in Molecular Medicine Reports for “Protective role of Klotho on cardiomyocytes upon hypoxia/reoxygenation via downregulation of Akt and FOXO1 phosphorylation”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 23rd, 2015 at 11:00 am

Prominent geneticist nets retraction, two corrections, and a lot of questions

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David Latchman, Birkbeck

David Latchman

A team led by David Latchman, a geneticist and administrator at University College London, has notched a mysterious retraction in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and has had 25 more papers questioned on PubPeer.

The JBC notice for “Antiapoptotic activity of the free caspase recruitment domain of procaspase-9: A novel endogenous rescue pathway in cell death” is as useless as they come, a regular occurrence for the journal: Read the rest of this entry »

Franken-paper from U.S. federal contractor heads to the grave

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Hindawi journal PPAR Research has pulled a cancer immunology paper after discovering it contained almost no new information.

Instead, it was a Frankenstein-style stitch job, containing sentences ripped from 33 different papers. 18 of those ended up in the citations; for 15 more, the authors didn’t even do them that courtesy. You can see a meticulously color-coded call out here.

Here’s the notice for “A Role for PPARy in the Regulation of Cytokines in Immune Cells and Cancer”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 19th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Oklahoma postdoc admits to faking data in grant application, submitted paper

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bin kang

Bin Kang

A postdoc at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation faked data in a submitted paper and in a grant application, according to a new report from the Office of Research Integrity.

Bin Kang admitted to the misconduct, in which he Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 18th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Fat cell paper earns unusually detailed retraction

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jcbA pair of cell biologists have taken responsibility for extensive figure errors that scuttled their paper in the Journal of Cell Biology.

While there were five authors, first and last authors Eva Szabo and Michal Opas took responsibility in the notice. A number of figures “contain incorrect data and/or presentation errors,” and the original data isn’t available for verification. The notice is unusually clear about which figures and data are compromised.

The paper was published in 2008, and retracted on January 12, 2015. It has been cited 32 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the notice for “Calreticulin inhibits commitment to adipocyte differentiation': Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 16th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Leading diabetes researcher corrects paper as more than a dozen studies are questioned on PubPeer

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Kathrin Maedler

Prominent German diabetes researcher Kathrin Maedler has issued corrections on two papers, and told Retraction Watch she is in the process of defending the data on others.

14 of her papers have been critiqued by PubPeer commenters. The commentary, which spans from her graduate work in 2002 to a 2014 publication in Nature Medicine, includes questions about image manipulation and self-plagiarism.

Laborjournal’s blog (we have a column in their English-language publicationfirst flagged these suspicions in July 2014, after being approached by pseudonymous Clare Francis.

Here’s a comparison between figures in Maedler’s 2009 PLoS One paper, “Deletion of the Mitochondrial Flavoprotein Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF) Induces β-Cell Apoptosis and Impairs β-Cell Mass,” and one she co-authored in 2006 in Diabetes, “Low concentration of interleukin-1beta induces FLICE-inhibitory protein-mediated beta-cell proliferation in human pancreatic islets,” via PubPeerRead the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 12th, 2015 at 11:30 am