Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cell biology’ Category

Paper that formed basis of study retracted earlier this year retracted itself, from Science

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science dec 2014Back in May, we reported on a retraction from Molecular Cell that referred to a 2012 study the same group had published in Science. (A few weeks later, the lab head told us just how painful the process was.)

Now, the Science paper has been retracted. Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 22nd, 2014 at 11:30 am

Researchers retract paper for which first author won an award — but won’t sign notice

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Riccardo Bernasconi

Most of the authors of two Molecular Cell papers have retracted them after becoming aware of inappropriate image manipulation by the first author of both — who refused to sign the notices.

One of the papers, “Role of the SEL1L:LC3-I Complex as an ERAD Tuning Receptor in the Mammalian ER,” earned first author Riccardo Bernasconi, who successfully defended his PhD in 2010, the STSBC-Roche Diagnostics award in 2012. Here’s the notice for that paper: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 am

Stem cell researcher retracts neuron paper for “image aberrations”

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embo journalJens Christian Schwamborn, a stem cell researcher at the University of Luxembourg, is retracting a 2007 paper on how to grow brain cells.

The paper, “Ubiquitination of the GTPase Rap1B by the ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 is required for the establishment of neuronal polarity,” was published while Schwamborn was at Westfälische Wilhelms‐Universität Münster in Germany. An anonymous critic had sent questions about the study to Germany’s DFG in the middle of last year, and later to Paul Brookes, who posted them on PubMed Commons.

Those criticisms match the problems listed in the detailed notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 18th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Stem cell researcher Hanna “working…to correct the unfortunate and inadvertent mistakes” in papers

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Jacob Hanna

Jacob Hanna of Israel’s Weizmann Institute has been a media darling for years, including as a member of the 2010 Technology Review 30 under 35 for his work with stem cells.

However, questions have been mounting about his research, both on PubPeer (which has critical comments for 15 papers he’s an author on) and in other stem cell labs, who have not been able to reproduce much of Hanna’s work.

We asked Hanna about a PubPeer entry specific to a 2005 paper in BloodCommenters have accused the authors of figure manipulation and possible data republication. Here’s a figure from that post: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Italian researcher facing criminal charges notches seventh retraction

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proteomicsAlfredo Fusco, a researcher in Italy under criminal investigation, now has a seventh retraction for manipulated images.

Here’s the notice for “Retraction: Identification of new high mobility group A1 associated proteins,” to which not all of the authors agreed: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 9th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Updated: Former Vanderbilt scientist faked nearly 70 images, will retract 6 papers: ORI

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ori logoA former Vanderbilt University biomedical engineer committed fraud on a massive scale, according to a new Office of Research Integrity (ORI) report.

Igor Dzhura is banned from receiving federal funding for three years, and is retracting six papers, which have been cited more than 500 times. Since leaving Vanderbilt, he has worked at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and now works at Novartis.

According to the ORI, Dzhura was a busy boy at Vanderbilt, faking images and drastically inflating the number of experiments he conducted by duplicating computer files and saving them in nested folders. The total body count from his work includes: Read the rest of this entry »

Second retraction appears for arcade game-like image manipulation

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In June, we reported on a retraction in Current Biology that came after a number of PubPeer commenters suggested that the authors had engaged in figure manipulation, memorably comparing watching the published videos to playing the old-school arcade game “Space Invaders.”

Now a second paper from the same team has been retracted from Biology Open after the authors “were unable to repeat the results.” The journal was unable to get in touch with first author Livana Soetedio, whom the University of Illinois at Chicago found had fabricated the data and images in both publications.

Here’s the notice for “Targeting of vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2, VPAC2, a secretin family G-protein coupled receptor, to primary cilia”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 19th, 2014 at 11:30 am

Retraction appears for faked study of Novartis anti-cancer compound

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Raymond Sawaya, director of MD Anderson’s brain tumor program, presents Jun Fu with the 2014 Caroline Ross Endowment Fellowship.

Raymond Sawaya, director of MD Anderson’s brain tumor program, presents Jun Fu with the 2014 Caroline Ross Endowment Fellowship.

A paper by a former postdoc at MD Anderson Cancer Center who “admitted to knowingly and intentionally falsifying” a figure has been retracted.

In August, the Office of Research Integrity announced that it had sanctioned Jun Fu for faking data in a study of the results of a mouse study of NVP-HSP990, a Novartis compound designed to fight brain tumors. Here’s the notice for the study in question, published in Cancer Research:
Read the rest of this entry »

“I kind of like that about science:” Harvard diabetes breakthrough muddied by two new papers

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Doug Melton

Harvard stem cell researcher Doug Melton got a lot of press last year for research on a hormone he named betatrophin, after its supposed ability to increase production of beta cells, which regulate insulin.

Now, the conclusions from that paper, which has been cited 59 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, have been called into question by research from an independent group, as well as follow-up work from the original team.

The interest was driven by the hormone’s potential as a new treatment for diabetes. In 2013, Melton told the Harvard Gazette that betatrophin could be in clinical trials within three to five years. Here’s Kerry Grens in The Scientist: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 10th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Kidney journal to retract stem cell paper for duplicated and doctored images

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kidney intKidney International is in the process of retracting a stem cell paper containing plagiarized images, Retraction Watch has learned.

Here’s the notice that will appear for “Human renal stem/progenitor cells repair tubular epithelial cell injury through TLR2-driven inhibin-A and microvesicle-shuttled decorin“: Read the rest of this entry »