Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘cell biology’ Category

Einstein grad student admits cooking data, settles with Office of Research Integrity

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Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 1.05.49 PMOne Friday in January, graduate student Meredyth Forbes was reviewing material for her dissertation with her mentor when she decided to make a confession.

She “burst out with a statement that some of the data was fabricated,” said Edward Burns, research integrity officer at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where Forbes worked. It was, Burns told Retraction Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

JACS imaging paper “under editorial review” has been replicated, says author

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JACS The author of a paper “under editorial review” at the Journal of the American Chemical Society has told us the results the paper have been replicated, contrary to claims made by a former member of her lab.

What’s more, the author said she has submitted a correction to the paper, which is currently flagged with an expression of concern, to provide uncropped images.

We originally reported on the case in February from the perspective of Roger Wong, a former chemist at Hong Kong University who said he hasn’t been able to replicate the findings out of the lab of Dan Yang, a current chemistry professor at HKU (who is female, despite the fact that “Dan” is frequently used as a male name in English). We unfortunately failed to reach Yang in February because of an email glitch; once we contacted Yang, she told us she does not believe Wong’s side of the story:

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Singapore investigation leads to another retraction, correction for Harvard research fellow

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After an investigation found evidence of misconduct, a biologist has issued a third retraction.

Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy — now a research fellow at Harvard Medical School — “admitted falsification,” a Research Integrity Officer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore told us in December. According to The Scientist, another journal has also published a correction that the authors had requested earlier.

The newly retracted paper is “Myostatin is a novel tumoral factor that induces cancer cachexia,” published in Biochemical Journal and cited 40 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Here’s the retraction note:

Sperm paper impaired by “corporate company” analysis

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2.coverWithout a certain protein, mouse sperm have motility disorders. That’s the conclusion of a paper that has itself been stopped — by errors in the data analysis, carried out by a third-party company.

The retraction note pins the analysis, which led to faulty data, on a “corporate company.” Aside from the companies that sell the kits used for substrates, assays, and detection, there’s only one company mentioned in the paper:

Generation of the mouse model was performed by the Cyagen Company (Guangzhou, China)

However, a representative of Cyagen says it does not offer the type of analysis described by the retraction note.

Here’s the full retraction note for the 2015 paper in Biology of Reproduction (which is paywalled — tsk, tsk):
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Journals flag 6 papers, request investigation of New Jersey university biologists

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Two journals have published six expressions of concern for a pair of biologists at Rowan University, and are asking the university to undertake an investigation.

We contacted the editors of the two journals — Journal of Cell Science and Biology Open — who both said they decided to flag the papers after a reader raised concerns about potential re-use of blot images. The six papers are co-authored by John G. Pastorino, a molecular biologist at Rowan University in New Jersey and Nataly Shulga, whose LinkedIn identifies her as a research specialist at the same institution. According to the nearly identical notes, the journals (which share a publisher) undertook a review of the original data, but “felt unable to resolve this matter.”

The expressions of concern — five from the  Journal of Cell Science and one from Biology Open — include pretty much the same text. Here’s the note that appeared in JCS:

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JACS imaging paper “under editorial review”

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The Journal of the American Chemical Society has issued an expression of concern over “the presentation of results” in a 2014 paper about a new probe for use in imaging.

We haven’t heard back from the journal nor the authors of the paper, so there’s not much we can officially say about what the journal is investigating.

Here’s the text from the expression of concern:
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Authorship dispute fells membrane paper

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no spine minimum. full size. Editor: Barbara Sydow JEM: Clay RTP: Cynthia Porath jpcbfk

A membrane paper has been retracted only two months after publication in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B because of an authorship dispute.

The paper, “Magnetic Interaction of Transition Ion Salts with Spin Labeled Lipid Membranes: Interplay of Anion-Specific Adsorption, Electrostatics, and Membrane Fluidity,” has not been cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. (It appears to be taken down entirely, but it looks like you can read its abstract here.)

Here’s the entire — very short — note:

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Written by Shannon Palus

January 28th, 2016 at 11:30 am

List of retractions, corrections grows for Duke researchers

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cov200hDuke researcher Michael Foster and his former co-author Erin Potts-Kant are adding to their notice count with a major correction from late last year to a paper on how certain cells in mice respond to a pneumonia infection, citing “potential discrepancies in the data.”

The correction is actually a partial retraction: The note explains that parts of three figures should be discounted.

We’ve also recently unearthed multiple corrections and two retractions from the pair that we missed from earlier in 2015.

After questions about the data in the corrected paper arose, the authors were able to replicate most of the experiments in the paper, according to the note. But since the paper was published, the senior author passed away, closing her lab, so they couldn’t repeat all of the work.

Here’s the correction notice for “Mast cell TNF receptors regulate responses to Mycoplasma pneumoniae in surfactant protein A (SP-A)−/− mice,” published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology:

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Second of 3 retractions appears for biologist, the result of “a substantial number of falsifications”

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Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 10.19.01 AMA cell biologist who falsifed Western blots has notched a second retraction, with one more expected after a investigation at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

First author Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, now apparently a research fellow at Harvard, did not agree to the retraction, the result of “a substantial number of falsifications.”

In December, we covered the results of the NTU investigation, where Lokireddy used to work. During that investigation, he admitted to falsifying data, Research Integrity Officer Tony Mayer told us. The end result: three retractions.

One of those papers was retracted by Cell Metabolism in December. The second paper, published in Molecular Endocrinology, has been cited 52 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The retraction note explains which figures were falsified:

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IVF embryo paper pulled for plagiarism, errors, lack of permissions

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6A journal is pulling an article (with approval of “most” of the authors) because a similar paper had already been published in Chinese.

That wasn’t the only problem with Aneuploidy analysis of non-pronuclear embryos from IVF with use of array CGH: a case report,” published in the Journal of Molecular Histology. 

The retraction note lists the three things that led to the paper’s retraction:

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