Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘genetics retractions’ Category

Ex-Mount Sinai postdoc who falsified 50+ images earns 5-year funding ban

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ori-logoA former postdoctoral researcher at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has received a five-year funding ban after an investigation concluded that they had falsified data underlying more than 50 images.

According to a report released today by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), Zhiyu Li falsified Read the rest of this entry »

PLOS ONE pulls malaria study for “inappropriate manipulation” of figures

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PLOS OnePLOS ONE has retracted a malaria paper after an institutional investigation found evidence the authors had manipulated multiple figures.

According to the notice, the authors’ institution — the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in New Delhi, India — recommended the journal retract the paper.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued by PLOS ONE on June 30: Read the rest of this entry »

Author, among others, loses four papers for “compromised” peer review

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Annals of human geneticsJournals have retracted four papers from an author after uncovering evidence the peer review process had been compromised. Three papers have all common authors. 

In one notice, issued last month, Annals of Human Genetics said it had reason to believe the paper had been reviewed by unqualified reviewers. Last year, another journal, Molecular Biology Reports, pulled two papers by the same group — all based at the China Medical University in Shenyang — all for peer-review issues. Additionally, Molecular Biology Reports also retracted another paper co-authored by Peng Liu last year, which did not include her other colleagues on the three other papers. All papers describe the epigenetic changes — modifications in expressions of genes — that may underlie cancer.

Here’s the retraction notice in the Annals of Human Genetics, published June 27: Read the rest of this entry »

One patient, two case reports: Journal retracts the latter

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Case Reports in Obstetrics and GynecologyA journal has retracted a case report after discovering it had already been reported.

The paper — about an “extremely rare” instance where a fetus was diagnosed with both a form of dwarfism and a chromosomal condition known as Klinefelter syndrome — was retracted from Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CROG).

The first author of the paper told us the report was the result of a “big misunderstanding” between her and a former colleague, and she alerted the journal as soon as she noticed the case had already been reported in BMC Pediatrics.

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

Journal flags paper over allegations it used competitors’ text, plasmids

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MGGA journal has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for a paper on a common crop virus after the authors were accused of using competitors’ unpublished text and plasmids.

Investigations by the journal and the involved institutions — the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, where the paper’s authors are based, and North Carolina State University (presumably, where the accusing group is from) — were inconclusive, the notice states.

So the editor flagged “Sequences enhancing cassava mosaic disease symptoms occur in the cassava genome and are associated with South African cassava mosaic virus infection” with an EOC:

Read the rest of this entry »

PLOS ONE retracts 2 malaria papers over doubts experiments ever took place

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PLOS One

Authors have retracted a pair of PLOS ONE papers after an investigation suggested the articles might contain some fiction.

In the papers, the authors describe collecting and analyzing the DNA of mosquitoes to look for changes following the introduction of bed nets treated with insecticides to combat malaria. However, an investigation by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in France could not confirm some of the experiments ever took place.

Here’s the retraction notice for “How the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae Adapts to the Use of Insecticide-Treated Nets by African Populations,” which appears at the top of the paper:

Read the rest of this entry »

Prompted by PubPeer, biologist corrects three papers

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GeneA biologist has corrected three papers that are nearly a decade old, after concerns were raised on PubPeer.

A commenter first posted a comment about an image in one of the papers in 2013; after more comments on other papers appeared in November 2015, author Zoya Avramova at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln received emails alerting her to the threads. She has responded, including to the 2013 comment, noting “the said images should have been assembled more carefully.”

After repeating some of the experiments to verify the results, she has now issued corrections on three papers, about the genetics of model organism Arabidopsis. The papers share a first author, Abdelaty Saleh, who was a postdoc in Avramova’s lab at the time of the work.

The correction notice for “Dynamic and stable histone H3 methylation patterns at the Arabidopsis FLC and AP1 loci,” appearing in the July 2016 volume of Gene, explains:  Read the rest of this entry »

PLOS ONE pulls maize paper with Photoshopped images

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PLOS OnePLOS ONE has retracted a paper after editors learned that some of the images had been manipulated using Photoshop.

First author of the paper, Chuan Li, confirmed that he was responsible, and told Retraction Watch he apologizes for his “low-level mistake.”

Zhongfu Ni, last author of the paper from the China Agricultural University in Beijing, told us that all the co-authors agree with the retraction.

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

Cancer paper that doctored image from Science story earns retraction

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lungcancercoverHere’s a joke for all you middle-schoolers out there. How are doctored images like bad pennies? They keep cropping up!

Here’s the latest one we’ve picked up: Lung Cancer has retracted a 2014 paper on the genetics of tumors after concluding the authors cribbed a figure that had appeared in a 2005 feature story in Science.

The paper, “ß-elemene against human lung cancer via up-regulation of P53 protein expression to promote the release of exosome,” drew attention on PubPeer last September from a reader who noticed striking similarities between one of the images the authors used and a figure in the Science piece (subscription required). According to the PubPeer commenter: Read the rest of this entry »

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 »